France's battle of the burqa shows no signs of letting up.
French MPs issued a report yesterday recommending a partial ban of the controversial Muslim head veil, while President Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken out against the discrimination of Muslims, the Guardian reports.
The recommendation for the partial ban, which would fine women wearing burqas in hospitals, post offices, school entrances and public transportation, is the culmination of a six-month inquiry conducted by French politicians, according to the paper.
Though, in the past, Sarkozy has declared that the veil "makes women prisoners" and that it is "not welcome" in his country, his statements while visiting the war graves in Arras, France yesterday suggest a more moderate opinion, reportedly claiming that freedom of worship is one of the "basic freedoms guaranteed by our constitution."
"Islam is now the religion of many French people and our country, having known both wars of religion and fratricidal battles of state anti-clericalism, cannot let French Muslim citizens be stigmatized," Sarkozy reportedly stated.
"I will not let anyone lead my country down this regressive path."
Meanwhile, committee member and Communist MP Andre Gerin stood by the ban, saying, "Behind the full veil hide scandalous practices that are contrary to our history.
"In order to say no to the full veil we are determined to wage a controlled political battle against fundamentalism... [so that] we can work towards an Islam which is compatible with the republic."
What's your take? Should freedom of worship include the right to wear the burqa in public, or do you find the veil oppressive? Leave a comment!
And read about this Indonesian ban on tight pants.