SARKOZY’S COURAGE – BURQAS HAVE TO GO
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 12, 2009
I’ve got a whole lot of “hip hip hoorays” stashed away in a special place, most of which have remained unused since November 4th of last year. They’re easily replenished when the need arises, but it really hasn’t been necessary for a year or so.
Admittedly, there have been a few oases in an otherwise barren landscape of leftist flapdoodle. On occassion, over the course of ten months, I have been able to let out a few fist-pumps here and there – such as when House Republicans unanimously voted against the Obama stimulus package, or when tea party attendees vigorously voiced their opposition to runaway government spending, or when town-hall meetings gave anti-ObamaCare protestors a place to have their concerns heard, or when Republicans won the governorships of two states (including New Jersey) on Election Day.
For the most part, however, my fist-pumping inventory remains in tact, itching to be summoned.
Indeed, for lovers of liberty, it is a backwards time. Not only is the President hell-bent on making sure government will grow as large as conceivably possible in the shortest amount of time, but he just can’t seem to find a kind word to say about his own country – other than it somehow found a way to negotiate through two centuries of injustice and elect a black man to the top spot.
But what makes this time in history all the more remarkable is the fact that people like me (haters, dividers, self-absorbed kitten-kickers) are finding that when we do pull out a “hip hip hooray” it is more often than not being directed at the President of France than the President of the United States – and that just downright defies the laws of existence.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, you’ll recall, sent the panties of the left into an atomic twist with his pro-America chatter after his election in 2007. It was he who said he wanted to “reconquer the heart of America.” It is he who said he loved America and her values. It is he who said, referencing the Americans who fought in World War II, “The children of my generation understood that these young Americans, 20 years old, were true heroes to whom they owed the fact that they were free people and not slaves. France will never forget the sacrifice of your children.”
And now, Mr. Sarkozy, well prepared for the slings and arrows that will inevitably come his way, says that burqas have no place in French society.
Talk about “wow.”
From the Associated Press, via Fox News:
Sarkozy says all beliefs will be respected in France but says “becoming French means adhering to a form of civilization, to values, to morals.”
Sarkozy said Thursday during a speech on national identity that “France is a country where there is no place for the burqa.” France has a large Muslim community but only a small minority of French Muslim women wear burqas, common in Afghanistan, or other face-covering veils.
Sarkozy said in June that burqas would not be welcome in France. Since then a parliamentary panel has been looking into the possibility of banning them in public.
Sarkozy is talking assimilation, and I like it. Sarkozy is talking values, and I applaud him. He’s talking about preserving the dignity of women, and nothing is more relevant.
He deserves a huge “hip hip hooray.”
That every feminist group in all of God’s creation is not erecting statues to Mr. Sarkozy – or President Bush, for that matter – or organizing rallies in his honor, or having coffee mugs made with his likeness, is almost a travesty. Sarkozy has the courage to say what needs to be said. What could be more pro-woman that to speak out against such an oppressive symbol?
But is a national restriction on wearing burqas in public the right thing to do?
Can it be justified?
I am certainly no expert on French culture, but isn’t an outright ban a bit too much?
Isn’t that a line better left uncrossed?
On one hand, it cannot be disputed by reasonable minds that to cover one’s face is to conceal one’s humanity. To do so is a representation of subservience with no other purpose than to eradicate a woman’s identity. It is designedly alienating and subjugating. It’s objective is to strip away dignity. It is demeaning.
In short, the burqa is not a benign religious symbol. Rather, it is a prison.
In fact, let me further my position by saying that women who wear burqas in this country should be made to remove them when required by law, like, for instance, being photographed for a driver’s license. The human face is, after all, the best and most efficient way to be identified.
On the other hand, I have a difficult time justifying the governmentally-imposed injunction of a piece of clothing simply because I (and others) find the practice utterly contemptible. While I personally view the wearing of burqas as not only a slap in the face to the women hidden by them, but a kick in the groin to the society providing the freedom to do so, is that enough to condone a governmental prohibiton?
Where, then, does it end?
Of course, I pose this question as an American, using this nation’s promise of liberty and religious freedom as my catalyst. It means nothing in the context of what should or should not happen in France – a nation that has long ago gone the way of Europe as a whole, all but abandoning its religious past. Conditions are obviously different in that nation than they are here. The assimilation of foreigners takes on a much different dynamic in France than it does in the United States.
America remains the most accommodating nation on Earth – including her acceptance of Muslims.
Still, I applaud Nicholas Sarkozy. His mission is to protect his country from her enemies, including those radical Muslims elements that mean to inflict it irreparable harm. That mission also includes preserving the French system of values and morality. That he has the courage to denounce the dehumanizing aspects of a foreign value set is more than worthy of a “hip hip hooray.”
Good for him.