French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls for burka ban


French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday risked outraging Muslims by calling for the burka to be banned.

He claimed the traditional, garment was a “debasement” of women – and not welcome in France.

He added: “In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity. The burka is not a religious sign. It’s a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement.

“I want to say it solemnly, it will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.”

The French leader spoke out in the first presidential address in 136 years to a joint session of France’s two houses of parliament.

He backed recent calls for a commission to study a small but growing trend of wearing the full-body gown. Last week French Communist party deputy Andre Gerin launched a campaign to make it illegal for women to hide their faces in public.

He said: “We find it intolerable to see images of these imprisoned women when they come from Iran, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.”

Women’s rights activists are also supporting the proposed ban, branding the burka “a symbol of oppression”.

But the national Muslim Council of France accused politicians of wasting time on a fringe phenomenon.

Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the council, said: “To raise the subject like this is a way of stigmatising Islam.”



  1. Rita Cezar said,

    June 30, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I salute President Nicolas Sarkozy for this a fantastic idea to ban burkas for women in France. Sarkozy has backbone and courage to speak out about this backward act imposed on some women. I wish I could shake Sarkozy’s hand and let him know that millions of American women admire him. These Burka wearing women and their fanatic husbands should go back to where their ancestors came from. They trash the French civilization and culture. God bless you president Sarkozy.
    Rita C.

  2. drush76 said,

    July 1, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    President Sarkozy is obviously a bigot. Who, in their right mind, would waste time insulting the garments of women of another culture? And how does insisting that immigrants adhere to French culture constitute freedom and democracy? I ask you.

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