Bon Travail!

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.

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  1. goddessdivine says:

    Certainly we would never see the same sentiment come from our own president.

    Of course not. He thinks we still struggle with women's rights here in America, as proclaimed in one of his apology speeches not too long ago. Right – so unequal pay is on the same level as stoning Muslim women. Good grief.

    I never thought I'd say this, but a round of applause for the French. (Well, at least for Sarkozy.)

  2. Linda says:

    "I've often wondered why more women's rights groups have not spoken out against the treatment of Muslim women." 'Tis a quandry, isn't it.

    But then again, no women's rights groups spoke out for Sarah Palin when she was getting pounded in the press or by David Letterman either, did they.

  3. Tigress says:

    Just for the record, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks out. Here's an excerpt taken from the NYT live blog transcript of her SOS confirmation hearings:

    [When] Senator Boxer displays photographs of women [from other parts of the world] who were burned in acid attacks, punished for divorce or other matters, Senator Clinton responds emphatically.

    It is her hope, she promises, to persuade more governments “that we cannot have a free, prosperous, peaceful, progressive world if women are treated in such a discriminatory and violent way.” In addition to the attacks on Pakistani women outlined by Senator Boxer, Mrs. Clinton cites the attacks on young school girls by Taliban sympathizers.

    “They want to maintain an attitude,” she charged, “that keeps women unhealthy, unfed, uneducated, and this is something that results all too often in violence against these young women.”

    “This is not culture, this is not custom, this is criminal,” she said.

    (end of excerpt)

    I applaud Sarkozy's total condemnation of the burka. That is a great leader also.

    You will never find Obama saying anything similar to these two.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday i visited the NOW (National Organization for Women) website.

    As in the case when Afghani girls were being poisoned for going to school and the NOW website had nothing on it protesting that horrendous act – neither did they have ANYTHING about the trouble in Iran and about the young lady being gunned down in the street.

    However, they took the time to say how sad they were that Dr. George Tiller (Abortion Dr) was killed.

    Um…ok…so i guess that would make some feminists mad – i get that – however, why aren't they mad as hell that women in other parts of the world are truly suffering – dying for thier country and being poisoned for going to school.

    It's just so out of whack!

    About burqas…i do understand the feeling of security that some women feel while wearing them -it is a form of protetion for some. To force women to wear them is straight from the devil. Hiding women's beauty behind screens, black fabric etc -is truly horrid. i applaud the French President for speaking out!

    ~laura

  5. Ian Thorpe says:

    Nice to see everyone applauding the French. A few years ago in Britain we had a controversy about Muslim girls who went into the nursing profession. They signed up for the job and had done the job for years in some cases but the mad mullahs decided these professional women should be wearing the niquab and only nursing women (muslim women). The politicians were mealy mouthed about it but a writer and comedian who had been a psych nurse put it in perspective.

    Can you imagine trying to control a common room full of autistics when they kick off because somone in a full black face mask has just walked in? she asked a senior member of the government on a popular TV talk show.

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