August 19, 2009

Muslim minister urges France to ban the burqa


by Benjamin Graham

A blanket ban on Muslim women wearing the burqa in France would go a long way towards halting the spread of radical Islam, a female Muslim minister in the French government claimed this week.

Fadela Amara, minister for urban regeneration, said the burqa, which covers the whole body apart from netting over the eyes, is “oppressive”, “enslaving” and “humiliating” to women, and encourages the “cancer” of radical Islam.

Women wearing the burqa are “prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity,” she said.

Amara, who is of Algerian descent, is a feminist and former women’s rights campaigner.

Speaking to the Financial Times newspaper, she said France is a leading light in Europe’s struggle to welcome followers of progressive Islam into a secular state.

“The vast majority of Muslims are against the burqa. It is obvious why,” Amara said.

“The burqa represents not a piece of fabric but the political manipulation of a religion that enslaves women and disputes the principle of equality between men and women, one of the founding principles of our republic.”

Earlier this year, President Nicolas Sarkozy said the burqa is “not welcome” in France.

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