Women, and what they can and cannot do with their bodies, are always contentious. But rarely does a mainstream and acting politician make such a bold statement as Sarkozy had done.
“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue, it is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “The burqa is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women.”
“I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory,” he said to enthusiastic applause.
Discussion surrounding religion and women’s rights seem to hit way deeper in Europe than elsewhere. I’m not sure this kind of rhetoric, forceful at best, inflammatory at worst, is the best way to produce the desired integration effect. Given many women see the wearing of burqa as a way of re-enforcing their identity, and one out of choice, and not of subjugation, I’m not sure how popular he is in right now in many of the Parisian arrondissements right now.