In The News Co. UK - Monday, 22 Jun 2009 16:28
French president Nicolas Sarkozy has said burkas, the garments worn by Muslim women, have no place in his country. The clothing which covers women from head to toe are a sign of subjugation and undermined their dignity, Mr Sarkozy said in a major speech on Monday. Speaking to a joint session of both houses of parliament, the French president said: "The issue of the burka is not a religious issue, it is a question of freedom and of women's dignity. "The burka is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women. I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory." A fearsome debate in France over Muslim girls wearing headscarves in school resulted in a law being passed banning children from wearing conspicuous signs of their religion at state schools in 2004. During today's speech Mr Sarkoy backed the establishment of a parliamentary commission to look into whether the wearing of burkas in public should be banned.