October 26, 2009

Immigration minister proposes burqa ban in France

by Benjamin Graham

The French immigration minister this week said France needs to debate its national identity, adding that the French identity has no place for face-covering Muslim veils.

“For me, no burqas on the street,” said Eric Besson in an interview on LCI television.

“The burqa runs counter to national values,” he added.

Besson claimed the face-covering veil breaches women’s rights and the historical French commitment to gender equality.

However, the minister stopped short of proposing a legal ban on the burqa.

Lawmakers must decide whether banning the headscarf would be the most effective way to change the habits of burqa wearers, he said.

Earlier this year French president Nicolas Sarkozy said the burqa is a symbol of imprisonment with no place in French society.

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