He has come out in opposition to the burkha. He said last week that "The burka is not a sign of religion. It is a sign of subservience. It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic."
The burkha is the name of the cloak like garment worn mainly by Afghan women. It is the one with the mesh area over the eyes and you mostly see it in this shade of blue:
I am not sure if president Sarkozy is talking about the burkha or whether he is just using that word to describe any face covering garment worn by Muslim women. The niqab as shown here is a lot more common than the burkha and can be seen on women here in Australia, often in black.
The BBC actually has a series of pictures describing the different types of dress worn by Muslim women here:
I am not a fence-sitter on this issue.
I feel very strongly that all people should be free to wear what they like.
Be it skanky mini skirts & uggs, burkhas, or sheitels & tiechels.
I am not intimidated or offended by women who choose to cover their hair or their faces.
In Australia we are very lucky. Our government does not tell us what to wear. I do feel a great sense of sadness for women who live in other parts of the world where they do not have the same right I have to choose my outfits.
Yes since having my Tinker and becoming a new body shape I have no idea how to dress to look good and I tend to choose some shocking ensembles, but I choose them. Nobody tells me what not to wear. Perhaps they should, I might look better!
On a serious note, I’m disappointed and saddened that the president of a supposedly forward thinking country would make such an archaic statement. How dare he tell women what they can and can’t wear.
Yes I know France has long been the centre of style and what I'm wearing right now is probably a bastardised cheap version of what some designer sent down the runway last season in Paris, but I think Sarkozy is wrong, wrong wrong.
The argument many have adopted against this type of dress is that it isn’t a choice for the women. That they are being told to dress like this. This attitude infuriates me. Just because you do not like the look of the niqab why do you assume other women have been brainwashed or forced into wearing it?
Is it because our culture is all about looks? Why can’t we look beyond our own values and imagine a completely different perspective on appearance? Is it so hard to get our heads around the idea that some women do not want to be seen when they are out and about? Is it so hard to imagine? You might not agree with it, but why can’t you just accept that some women choose this for themselves?
So many people say it is because they are brainwashed. Muslim women are damned if they come out and say it is not their families forcing them because people then say they must be brainwashed. I find that really offensive.
I really hate tattoos. I can’t imagine ever wanting to pay money to have pain inflicted on my body so that I can be stained with ink. I know plenty of women who do pay money for this, they love their tattoos. I find it an awful concept but I do not think they have been brainwashed. It isn't something I could ever choose for my body so shuld it be banned on that basis? No.
I just think women who choose to ink themselves have different ideas about what looks good and what suits them. They want to do different things with their body, and I am so happy that our free country allows women to make these choices.
There are Muslim women who want to get about covered head to toe with only their eyes showing. So what? Their bodies, their right to choose whether to show them or hide them. Yes it can be confronting to walk into a shop and see a lady looking a lot like a ninja but that’s life. We don’t all want to dress the same. Alannah Hill gets about made up like a geisha doll in a frou frou nightmare, that can be confronting as well but it is her body so please let her clothe it as she sees fit.
I guess to me, wanting to tattoo your body is as foreign a desire as wanting to wear a burkha. I love that my society lets me choose. I wouldn’t like to live somewhere that didn’t afford women that freedom.
What about nuns in full habit? Nobody ridicules their choice to cover everything but their hands and faces like images of the Virgin Mary. Would Sarkozy say that the habit is a sign of faith or a sign of subservience by a victim of brainwashing? No. Never. Hypocrisy stinks.
What are your thoughts on this issue?