French President Nicholas Sarkozy gets it. Not only has he joined leaders in a number of nations–including Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu–and come forth in support of those fighting for freedom in Iran, but today he came out against traditional Muslim garb, specifically the burqa, saying that it is not welcome in France.
“The burqa is not a religious sign, it’s a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement—I want to say it solemnly,” he said. “It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.”
I love it.
Sarkozy is right. The burqa is a sign of Islam’s subjugation of women. Without getting too preachy or verbose, I’ve often wondered why more women’s rights groups have not spoken out against the treatment of Muslim women. Too often, I hear the defense that Muslim women have somehow chosen their lifestyle, yet cannot fathom how that is different than turning a blind eye to a battered woman because she chooses to go back to her abusive spouse.
Regardless, it is very nice to hear someone of note protest the debasement of Muslim women. This isn’t a freedom of worship issue — this is a freedom for women issue, and I’m glad it was worthy of Sarkozy’s time. Certainly we would never see the same sentiment come from our own president.