VERSAILLES, France (AFP) — President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday that the burka was not welcome in secular France, condemning the head-to-toe cover as a symbol of subjugation rather than the Muslim faith.
“We cannot accept to have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity,” he said. “That is not the idea that the French republic has of women’s dignity.”
“The burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience,” he told lawmakers in a major policy speech. “It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic.”
The speech came just two weeks after Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama diverged on whether states should legislate on religious clothing, an issue which has sparked controversy in Europe.
Now here’s a slippery slope if ever there was one. France has more Muslims than any other country in Europe, in excess of 5 million. Several years ago, a muslim woman was denied french citizenship because she wore a burka and was subjugated to her husband. I guess she didn’t know the French way of doing things. Several thousand women in France wear the burka.
Somehow a burka is just not the same as a head scarf. A burka is a clothing prison. President Obama defended the head scarf and took a departure from Sarkozy’s point of view. Maybe this is one time Obama needs to butt out and let the French people decide this one for themselves.
How do contributors feel about Sarkozy’s views? Should he attempt to get the French legislature to pass them into law? Do his views, if passed in to law, intefer with religious freedom?
Full story at Google.