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Life Talk!

French President Sarkozy speaks out against burka



United Kingdom


Susan Sachs

Paris — From Tuesday's Globe and Mail, Monday, Jun. 22, 2009 09:40PM EDT

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Five years after outlawing Muslim head scarves in public schools, French lawmakers are taking aim at the face-covering niqab and burka, calling the garments an “ambulatory prison” for women.

On Monday, President Nicolas Sarkozy added his support to a resolution in the National Assembly that would open an inquiry into whether the state should prohibit women from wearing the garments outside their homes.

During a speech before both houses of parliament that was otherwise devoted to the economy, Mr. Sarkozy attacked the niqab as “a sign of subjugation, of degradation of women” that is not welcome in France.

He stopped short of endorsing an outright ban, as called for by one of the most prominent Muslim women in his cabinet.

But he said the issue should be debated openly, and made his own views clear. “We cannot accept in our country that women are prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social contact, deprived of all identity,” he said.

In the French secular tradition, public spaces – whether schools, government buildings or even the street – are supposed to be neutral zones where differences of religion and identity are not displayed.

Last year, for example, the country's highest administrative court refused to grant citizenship to a niqab-wearing Moroccan woman married to a Frenchman. The court said that wearing the garment, which often leaves only a slit for her eyes, demonstrated that the woman rejected French values.

While the burka debate is at an early stage, prominent Muslim leaders warned that any attempt to regulate how Muslims, or anyone else in France, can dress, could backfire and feed resentment among Muslims who already feel alienated.

The French Muslim Council said that even convening a special inquiry commission would “once again seriously stigmatize Islam and French Muslims.”

Dalil Boubakeur, the moderate head of the main Paris mosque, described the burka as a radical import that is alien to the tradition of Islam. But a debate over whether to outlaw it, he said, may inevitably create tensions by suggesting that Muslims have not or cannot integrate into French society.

The niqab is commonly worn by women in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and more recently has been adopted by the fundamentalist Salafist movement in North Africa. In France, the word is often used interchangeably with burka, the tent-like garment with a mesh face cover that many Afghan women wear.



No particular incident involving French Muslims set off the demand for a study of the pros and cons of a ban on either garment. But one spark may have been a comment made by Mr. Sarkozy two weeks ago, during the D-Day commemorations in Normandy.

He said then that he agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama that the wearing of the Muslim head scarf poses no problem for Western societies if it represents a woman's free choice.

Critics said Mr. Sarkozy's remarks were a contradiction of French law, which prohibits the wearing of obvious religious symbols like the head scarf in public schools and by government employees who deal directly with the public.

A week later, a Communist deputy representing a suburban Lyon district introduced a resolution in the National Assembly calling the burka and other face-obscuring garments like the niqab a “degrading garment” that effectively negates a woman's citizenship.

More than 80 deputies have since signed on to the resolution to set up a parliamentary commission.

France has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe, estimated at around 5 million people, mainly of North African origin. While women in head scarves are a common sight, the more extreme body-enveloping clothing is relatively new and much less widespread.

Its appearance has already caused alarm, however.

Unlike in Britain and Germany, where similar proposals have provoked fierce debate over freedom of religious choice, the French prohibition on head scarves in school has functioned with little controversy since its enactment in 2004.

Women's groups, led by Muslim activists, lobbied for the law as a way to protect girls who might be forced, by family or peer pressure, to wear the head scarf. The debate over the burka and niqab has taken similar shape.



We must not fight the wrong battle. In the republic, the Muslim faith must be respected as much as other religions
Nicolas Sarkozy,
French President



“Overall, the women who wear the burka, who have their very existence confiscated, are victims,” said Fadela Amara, the Secretary of State for Urban Affairs and an outspoken advocate of a ban.

The appearance of women covered in all-enveloping robes and with scarves covering all but their eyes, she has said, is a sign of “the concrete presence of fundamentalism on our soil.”

Ms. Amara, the daughter of Algerian immigrants, led the campaign to ban the wearing of the head scarf in schools when she was the head of a women's group, Ni Putes Ni Soumises, which works with Muslim women in the tough French housing projects.

Sihem Habchi, the woman who took Ms. Amara's place as president of the group, said France has since “let down its guard out of fear” and is allowing Muslim fundamentalism to threaten its secular ideals.

A parliamentary commission, she added, should broaden its investigation beyond the burka and look at the decisions made by some French cities, responding to pressure from Muslim groups, to provide separate facilities for men and women at public swimming pools and gyms.

But other commentators have been hesitant about legislating the type of clothing that can be worn in public. “It's an aggression against the dignity of women – symbolic, but an aggression nevertheless,” said Laurent Joffrin, editor of the leftwing newspaper, Libération. “But is this the way to deal with it?”

Special to The Globe and Mail




Any thoughts on this?


02:01 AM Jun 23 2009 |

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United Kingdom

if it's not a menopause, I'm sure mood changes and irritations will disappear in a week.

No need to worry talknow, I'm splitting my sides with laughter, this pathetic excuse for a man just wants to show us how stupid and ignorant and nasty he is! Isn't he doing well, his mother must be so proud! (sarcasm again! hehe, it's so easy to be sarcastic, not so easy to be intelligent and wise!)

In order to sound as clever as you and Talknow we never clamed to be clever, just because I point out how obviously brain-dead you are, doesn't automatically make us clever, but at least we talk about the subject in hand. Well at least you have had a go this time, keep trying and you might one day join the human race with the rest of us. 

10:41 AM Aug 18 2009 |




but i wasn't know there are some members in this site can determine , what is  bullshit??? or not??
There ARE educated people on this site who can differ bullshit from facts. And I sincerily hope there are most of them here. Because it is not a big deal, at all. All you have to do is to use your brain, read books or at least surf internet not only for porn or pics discriminating Jews. But you definately don't belong to their club.

the history story between France and Russia it is facts
Yes, there was a war between Russia and Napoleon's army in the beginning of 19th century.

and the participating Muslims with Russia is true too
Yes, there were several muslim regiments which helped Russia in this war. This is a fact, too.

this is the which make France don't like Muslims.

And this is an utter bullshit. This needn't even be explained! France hates all muslims  because of several thousands of muslim soldiers who fought against them during the war 300 years ago… Can an educated intellectual man believe that?? I bet many people in France don't even care about Borodino Battle and who fought agains whom there …
But I understand, it's easier for Arabs to lay the blame on history than to try to investigate their behaviour and admit they are not that warm and fuzzy either. Perhaps, it is not your ancestors' fault but your contemporaries' that you are not treated as well in Europe as you'd like??

they want from all members agree with them , or they think themselves know every thing or they wrote the history with there hands . don't care with that… don't pay attention…

Noone is trying to convience anybody. Please, stay as unintelligent as you are now, if you want. It's even better. More fun to read…

this pathetic excuse for a man just wants to show us how stupid and ignorant and nasty he is! Isn't he doing well, his mother must be so proud!

My mother is disappointed with me not so much as your kids are disappointed to have a wooden-head mommy.

02:07 PM Aug 18 2009 |





otooziki…......................... lets go out 


Oh, you've already mined the place, shakhid? Thanks for warning…

02:19 PM Aug 18 2009 |


United Kingdom

Thank you for your comments, you requested teh Quran Verse where wearing the Hijab (veil) (Burkha is not the traditional term I believe):

“ And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful. . (Qur'an 24:31) ”

See more : http://wapedia.mobi/en/Hijab

There are many such verses. All the vesrses from the Last Testament are orderes from teh Al-Mighty in order to protect the dignity of women not to opress them.

There are differences of opionion amonst the scholars if wearing teh scarf only, or wearing the full veil is compulsary in public amonst stragers, the former is the miumum, the later is dependant on whihc school of thought you follow and level of God-conciousnous.

What do you think?

03:31 PM Aug 18 2009 |




i agree



05:16 AM Aug 19 2009 |






03:39 AM Aug 20 2009 |