No Room IN France For The Burqa Says Sarkozy

France is a modern post industrial society in which people receive quality education. But, it is also a nation in which what Muslim women wear appears to rank as among the key issues of life. President Sarkozy told the world that all beliefs are respected in France, but “becoming French means adhering to a form of civilization, to values and to morals.” According to this system of thought, “France is a country where there is no place for the burqa.” Powerful words concerning a piece of garment worn by fewer than five percent of all women in France. One can only wonder why covering a body is an immoral act but revealing the entire female body on a beach is a mark of “civilization.”

Wearing a burqa in France is a voluntary action on the part of women. Most estimates is only a fraction of Muslim women decide to wear one. How does that action threaten French civilization? Of course, one could ask Sarkozy about French civilization which tortured and killed Algerians or the countless brutal actions against those who were in French colonies. Mr. President, care to make a comment about what happened in French Indo-China!

  • escuela de poker

    Of course you should be able to wear whatever you want to. But I do understand that it is not appropriate to wear it at work (if it is public) or in classes. You want to see the one you communicate with. Likewise it is not OK to talk to someone wearing sunglasses, I want to look the person I talk to in the eyes.

  • Miss Brodie

    British born, I have lived in France for over thirty years and I am sure that fifteen or even ten years ago nobody would have given an iota about what muslim women here were wearing. However, President Sarkozy’s comment is doubtless symptomatic of a general malaise as we watch a growing number of women donning headscarves and hidjabs, although burqas are extremely rare.

    What is even more worrying is that north African Islamic practice has always been moderate and very few parents of these girls seem to want to see their daughters wrapped up like mummies . Many mothers from Maghreb backgrounds watch mystified as their daughters don garments that they thought were a thing of their past, forgotten forever when they settled on French soil. They worry too when they see their sons caught up in fundamentalist Mosque meetings, from whence they arrive home to lecture their sisters on what is fitting behaviour. And when their sisters refuse to toe the line they admonish them, beat them and, on some horrendous occasions, burn them alive. One of my pupils in the Lycée, where I have taught for fifteen years, is currently undergoing physical abuse from her brother for exactly this reason.

    It is hardly surprising that the organization, Ni Pute Ni Soumise, founded by French women of North African descent, has always backed the secular rules in French schools, notably about headscarves. They argue that if the schools and the State cave in on this point, many North African girls will be left completely at the mercy of their fanatical brothers and their friends. While it is true that some women choose to cover themselves, many do so under pressure and that pressure would be all the greater if the French state, in the name of tolerance, allowed it to be exerted.