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Hannity

Clash of Civilizations: France's Burqa Ban Met With Fierce Opposition

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 13, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: France adopted a new law banning Muslim women from wearing full face veils and it is being met with fierce opposition.

The law which went into effect on Monday declares that it is illegal to hide one's face in public. If someone is caught violating the law, they could face a fine of 115 Euros, which is approximately $215 or be forced to take lessons in French citizenship.

Joining me now with reaction are the founder, president of the Alliance of Iranian Women, Amanda Ervin is with us and the co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, Pamela Taylor.

Pamela, as I understand, you know, you support this or you don't support this, I mean?

PAMELA TAYLOR, MUSLIMS PROGRESSIVE VALUES: I think that the ban is problematical on a lot of different fronts. So I would give it limited support. I think there are legitimate public safety concerns, but we also have to worry about freedom of religion and violating.

HANNITY: But isn't this for a reason? The reason being that as France and Belgium and Great Britain have tried to show tolerance, Sharia courts have emerged in many of these countries.

And unfortunately, there's no assimilation. It has become a society within a society. The idea that Sharia, which is often behind a lot of this, is imposed in separate courts, doesn't that create a conflict with a free society?

TAYLOR: I wouldn't support separate courts for Sharia, that's a legal system problem. That's not a problem with religious interpretation. How they would develop Sharia courts, I'm not quite sure.

I mean, obviously, you have a constitution. You got to uphold that. You don't want a dual legal system, but this is something different.

HANNITY: Amanda, you come from an interesting background because you were in Iran during the Iranian revolution and you saw up close and personal what happened. You want to explain that?

AMANDA ERVIN, ALLIANCE OF IRANIAN WOMEN: Yes in 1979, all the rights that Iranian women, my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother had fought for, for 100 years against the clergy, Muslim clergies to get human rights and equal rights.

In 1979, they were all taken away from the women. And they are now under the second class citizenship, the women of Iran and that's why they are fighting.

The Hijab is not an issue of religion. It's the issue of patriarchal hierarchy in Islam that has total power over the women, 50 percent of the population.

That's the control that patriarchal hierarchy wants to keep over the women. Most of the Muslim women who have been immigrating to the west, I know deep down in their hearts they want their husbands or their fathers to be forced by the western laws to let them have choices.

And if the day they gave them a choice, they will take the Hijab off.

HANNITY: Pamela, this is --

TAYLOR: I don't that is true.

HANNITY: Pamela, if we look at Sharia as applied. Look at Saudi Arabia, they have a morality police. Women cannot be seen in public with somebody they are not related to, a husband, brother, et cetera. Women are not allowed to drive.

TAYLOR: This is problematical, this is wrong.

HANNITY: Women in Iran under Sharia are beaten and stoned to death. So I think the fear is, in a free society -- there have been cases in America where Muslim women don't want to take off their veil for a driver's license for example.

TAYLOR: I would not agree with that.

HANNITY: What?

TAYLOR: I wouldn't agree with saying that someone doesn't have to be identified in public, right? When you have your driver's license you need your face uncovered. The police officer asks to see you, you need to be to uncover your face --

HANNITY: What about the application of Sharia?

TAYLOR: Sharia is a very complex thing. It has personal law. It is involved in how you pray, how you eat and things like that.

HANNITY: How about the treatment of women, which is what I'm referring to?

TAYLOR: Right. When you are getting into the treatment of women there's differences of opinion to begin with. There's also, you know, should be freedom of religion, right?

This gets back to the whole burqa issue.

HANNITY: But women aren't free.

TAYLOR: If you believe in freedom of religion, you should not be enforcing your interpretation whether it's patriarchal or not patriarchal, whether, you know, how strict it is or relaxed.

HANNITY: But that's what's happening. Tell that to the women in Saudi Arabia and Iran and in other countries.

TAYLOR: Absolutely and they are fighting against that, as they should, right? I mean, I support secularism in Saudi Arabia and Iran just as I would in the U.S. and in France.

HANNITY: All right, we got to run and leave there. Thank you both for being with us. Appreciate your time.

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