Genevieve Kineke

Blessed Virgin Mary Enlisted to Fight Burqa Ban

Posted on January 27 2010 9:00 am
Genevieve Kineke is an associate editor of Catholic Exchange and blogs at
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Is this a new invitation to interfaith dialogue?

The French have recently indicated support for a ban on veils for women, but now one defender of the burqua has the audacity to suggest that the Blessed Mother would disapprove. In a disjointed and contradictory interview dished up on the BBC, a convert to Islam plays the “Christian card,” hoping to convince France that even Mary knew her place. 

Chrystelle Khedrouche, a 36-year-old French convert to Islam, explains:

“When God ordered that women be veiled we know that they were already veiled. Look at the mother of Jesus, Mary, she wore a veil and I have never seen an image of her where she is not veiled. So we know that women were veiled at that time and if God ordered that women be veiled it was to add something more to what there was already.”

Um, not quite, sister.  It’s true that there was standard of modesty for married women in that region at the time which required that women cover their hair (though stemming from custom, not Mosaic law) but it didn’t include covering the face, which is what is creeping out the French.  But since Muslims also believe Mary to be the sister of Aaron and entirely confused about the body-double who replaced her Son on the cross, perhaps now she’s being reinvented as an ardent supporter of Shari’a as well.

As to the looming ban, Khedrouche lashes out at the locals who are the problem:

“I’m really very sad about this, but I’m not so surprised because it is part of the French mentality, but it makes me sad and it’s hard that this is the stage we have got to. It’s been several years that we live like this and we have been perfectly fine, but then I’m not so surprised because the French like the idea of everyone being of the same mould and that mould must be ideal. Everything that is not part of their ideal model doesn’t suit them.”

Ah, the notoriously “cookie-cutter” French.  Somehow the Asians, the Africans, and the countless other ex-pats co-existing there haven’t noticed that dimension of their host country. Heck, if the French can swallow McDonalds, I’d say they’re actually pretty open-minded, but not according to this woman.

And yet, even after she’s lamented France’s lock-step obstreperousness, she expresses frustration that the Muslim community is not more so:

“It saddens me a lot because our community is not united enough. For me there is no difference between myself and other Muslim women who show their veil, their hair or show their full head; there is no difference between us. But to say that it is not part of our religion I find very difficult, because we know that the wives of the prophet were dressed like this, they were fully covered.

So there are many ways to be Muslim, but hers is the correct one, got it? Perhaps her own veil has gotten in the way of noticing that those who suggest that women cover up suddenly morph into people who demand that women cover up. And that it’s not about eye contact and sharing smiles but about a religion that doesn’t scruple when it comes to hiding explosives beneath burqas—worn by either women or men (in a convenient disguise).

It’s typical that she appeals to the European constitution (just as Muslims in the US often twist the legal system to shut down criticism and even any non-Muslim religious expression they find offensive) but pulling the Virgin Mary into the argument is offensive, especially in a country considered the Eldest Daughter of the Church.  The fact that her co-religionists even now are fire-bombing those who actually take Mary at her word provides the richest irony.

Will the BBC now seek out the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris to confirm the Blessed Mother’s endorsement of veiling for women? Or perhaps they could interview the friends of those who chose not to cover up—since some of them can no longer speak for themselves. (I wouldn’t hold my breath.)

France: Most People Support Burqa Ban” (Jihad Watch)

Niqabs and Burkas as Security Threats” (Daniel Pipes)

Mother Hid Terrorist Manual in Burka” (Exposing Islam)

Christians Held to Shari’a Standards” (Feminine Genius)

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