Given the polemical nature of much discourse which often surrounds the burqa, Matthew Campbell of the Sunday Times identifies another layer to the debate. There has been a great deal of discussion across Europe as to whether or not women choose to wear the burqa or alternatively if it is something forced upon them. With the French proposing a ban on wearing the burqa in public, Campbell has been to talk to some of high-end fashion retailers about the impact upon their businesses.
Amongst some of these big fashion names such as Chanel, La Perla and Dior the outlook appears pessimistic. As a public relations officer for the Hôtel Plaza Athénée points out: “[a] lot of our customers come from the Gulf, especially Qatar” and more importantly they spend a great deal of money within the neighbouring boutiques.
Against the somewhat lighter tone in his article Campbell also focuses on some worrying aspects of the proposed ban. For instance the relatively tiny population targeted by the proposed legislation. Even more concerning is a recent case in Belgium, whereby upon his wife being fined, the husband announced that ‘she would have to stay at home in future.’ Hardly the desired outcome anticipated by the legislators.
By Pieternella van Doorn-Harder,
(Vol. 3, October 2008)
By John O. Voll,
(Vol. 1, November 2006)