The people who are against the burqa in public say that the burqa is oppressive to women and it violates the principle of secularism important to many European countries.
But some other people argue that the bans on burqa in Europe are xenophobic and an attack to the Muslim world.
Italian police have fined a Muslim woman for wearing a face-covering veil in public, officials in the northern city of Novara said.
The $650 fine, thought to be the first in Italy, comes under a rule that bans people from wearing clothes that obscure their identity.The critics of banning the burqa in public say that such legislation is an assault on the individual freedoms of women who choose to wear the burqa.
In a June 2009 speech at the Palace of Versailles near Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared, "The burqa is not welcome in France." Later that month, in a speech to France's parliament, Sarkozy called the burqa a tool of "enslavement" which France would not accept on its territory.
The percentage of women who wear the burqas in Europe is so small that some people wonder how it could be a threat to these nations.
Proponents of the ban also contend that the burqa is contrary to the principle of individualism that is the bedrock of most Western societies. Cope writes:
[W]e recognize that individual liberties cannot exist without individual responsibilities…. We are free as long as we are responsible individuals who can be held accountable for our actions before our peers. But the niqab and burqa represent a refusal to exist as a person in the eyes of others. The person who wears one is no longer identifiable; she is a shadow among others, lacking individuality, avoiding responsibility.
Do you think that Western countries have the right to prohibit wearing the burqa in public?
Soad Saleh a professor of Islamic Law at al-Azhar university in Cairo, Egypt, points out that the burqa actually has its roots in the pre-Islamic culture of the Bedouins (nomadic Arab people with ancient roots in the desert of the Middle East).