Sarkozy Navigates Veiled Waters

Beyond the Veil| French President Sarkozy is reportedly unsure about moving forward with a law that bans women from wearing the niqab or burqa in France for fear of running afoul of the Constitutional Council, who has knocked down recent pieces of Mr Sarkozy’s legislation, inculding his proposed carbon tax.

The French commission studying the proposed law, chaired by a Communist, has endorsed a law. But Sarkozy is concerned also about alienating Muslims, after listening to the religious leaders — Christian, Muslim and Jewish — who say that a prohibition would stigmatise all French Muslims even though the great majority of them disapprove of the niqab.

Last week President Sarkozy said: “The full veil is not welcome in France because it is contrary to our values and contrary to the ideals we have of a woman’s dignity. No one can doubt my firmness on this. But it is vital to conduct ourselves in a way that no one feels stigmatised. We must find a solution that enables us to win the widest support.” via London Times