French President Sarkozy says that the “burqa” is not welcome in France and has given his support to a law that will make it illegal for a woman to wear the garment:
Mr Sarkozy said that while freedom of religion was paramount in France, the burqa represented a symbol of the debasement and servitude of women: “The burqa is not welcome on the French Republic’s territory. It is not what the French Republic wants for the dignity of women … we cannot accept in our country that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from society and all identity.”
The problem is, of course, that banning women from wearing an article of clothing doesn’t increase their freedom but limits it. And a number of feminist bloggers appear to agree. Regardless of what Sarkozy may imagine, the vast majority of women who wear a niqab in the West are not “prisoners” and continue to have an identity — albeit one that the French state and their social engineers might not approve of.