I think, if we all try very hard , we can discuss this issue without veering into religion. The French senate voted today to ban clothing that covers the face - burqas and naqabs are included in the ban. http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/14/france.burqa.ban/index.html?hpt=T2 I wonder, is there a middle ground on this issue? What might a compromise look like? Maybe a recent immigrant could be excused, with the understanding that baring her face for the first time as an adult may be too distressing. Most countries have some laws addressing the minimum clothing allowed, because of social norms. However, there is also a social norm in most Western countries against covering one's face. For example, in the US, it's not a good idea to walk into a convenience store, or a bank, wearing a ski mask. So is it acceptable for a Western country to regulate clothing to this degree?