The Opéra Bastille

On October 3, patrons were enjoying a performance of La Traviata at the Opéra Bastille in Paris, France. Apparently, everything was going well until the second act. At that point, the performers noticed that a woman in the front row was wearing a full-faced veil. They refused to continue the performance until she removed the veil or left the performance.

I am not a fan of these veils, and I firmly believe that one should not be able to vote, for example, while wearing a veil.

In this case however, the audience is under no obligation to be able to be identified by the performers. If it were such an upsetting experience for the performers, one has to believe that they would have noticed earlier in the performance.

It’s true that France has a ban on the niqāb, but this event shows how silly an all-out ban is. Ban it if you like, but be honest about why.

The situation is even worse when you consider that the woman wearing the niqāb was not French at all. According to The Telegraph, the woman was “a tourist from a Gulf state.”

Welcome to France!

I still have conflicting opinions about the niqāb, but an outright ban is not the way to handle it.

Photo by Phillip Capper, reproduced via the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence.