Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Burqa Ban Opposed by French Socialists

In an extraordinarily rare occurrence, I find that I am on the same side as France's Socialist Party in opposing a legal ban on burqas, albeit on different grounds. From the BBC news report:
Last summer, French MPs held hearings on whether to ban the Muslim veil, which covers the body from head to toe. President Nicolas Sarkozy had said the burka was "not welcome" in France, home to Europe's largest Muslim population.
While the Socialist Party opposes the wearing of the burka, it was "not favourable" to a legal ban, said party spokesman Benoit Hamon."We are totally opposed to the burka," he told French radio. "The burka is a prison for women and has no place in the French Republic. But an ad-hoc law would not have the anticipated effect."
Jean-Francois Cope, the parliamentary leader of Mr Sarkozy's party, has said he would put forward a bill this month banning the wearing of the veil in public, as a means of defending France against "extremists".
In 2004, France controversially banned Muslim headscarves and other "conspicuous" religious symbols in state schools and by public employees.