Banning the Veil: Show Me Your Face or Go To Jail

In France, the fight for the right to stay a completely secular state has just taken an interesting turn. I remember in 2004 when head coverings were banned in public schools thinking that I was glad that I was not a student in France as being a Jew as I am involves wearing a head covering.  Covering your face is now prohibited in public places in France, and I’m not sure it’s necessarily a step in the right direction for France. In addition to banning the niqab, the full face veil that Muslim women wear, the ban also includes masks, hooded jackets as well as anything else that covers the face.

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Veil of Maya

by Mark A. Johnson

Just a lying sack, that’s all.
Brown fabric, cut, glued, and pressed
to hold things in secret.

The sharp thrust of a pointed finger
twice for eyes, and once again for breath,
and a taste of sullenness to hide oneself.

So donned, one can walk headless
and lie, kill, and hide
while smiling behind the stoic paper.