Is French President Nicolas Sarkozy right about his view of the burqa?

In a speech at the Palace of Versailles, Mr Sarkozy said that the head-to-toe Islamic garment for women was not a symbol of religion but a sign of subservience for women.

“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue. It is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity. The burqa is not a religious sign. It is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women.”

"In the republic, the Muslim religion must be respected like other religions.” But he declared, “the burqa is not welcome in France.” He added, “We cannot accept in our country women imprisoned behind bars, cut off from social life, deprived of identity.”

France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe, estimated at five million, and traditional Islamic garments have been a divisive issue, especially since 2004, when the country passed legislation prohibiting head scarves and conspicuous religious symbols from public schools.

My question to you: Do you agree with President Sarkozy and think burqas should be banned, or do you think he is overstepping cultural boundaries and just doesn't understand?

via telegraph and ny times

Tags: French, Nicolas, President, Sarkozy, burqa

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Considering the times we are in....he is very much in line.
There are different interpretations of the Burqa, Hijab, Purdah etc in Islamic texts and not all of them are subservient in nature. This garment was put in place at a different time for different reasons and just as all religious beliefs and articles must change with time, this one must be relooked at too.
If its the question of a women's dignity, certainly it should not be allowed.
On the other hand, if a woman chooses to wear it wether due to her ignorance, communal pressure or by choice - unless an unjust motive is found - she must have the right to exercise her right to do so.
However, from the point of view of security risks, there should be no let up. The laws of the land should be applicable to everyone, Burqa or not, religion should not be kept above Security.
I can totally see his point, but ultimately I do not agree with him. If France is ot have freedom of religion then it has to be unspecified (although they are strict with other religions, too). If a Muslim woman decides that she personally does not want to wear a burqa that is her choice, it should not be forced on her. Just like it is wrong for a government to pass legislation saying a woman HAS to wear a burqa, it is wrong to pass legislation to say she can't. You have to keep in mind that these women really believe that a Burqa is important for them to be accepted by God. Regardless of what Western society thinks of it, it is their choice what they will wear or not wear.
Regarding islamic women respecting heCoran, it is written that Muslism should adapt to the country they live in customs but this is certainly matter of interpretation.



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