Sarkozy Says Burqas Are 'Not Welcome' In France

By: AP
By: AP

PARIS (AP) _ Even as some Western leaders try to ease tensions
with the Muslim world, the president of France is refusing to
accept one display of Muslim identity.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is declaring that the Islamic burqa is not welcome in France.

He says the head-to-toe body coverings worn by some Muslim women
are a symbol of subservience that suppresses women's identities. He
says the garments turn women into ``prisoners behind a screen.''
And he says that's unacceptable in France.

France is home to Europe's largest population of Muslims. And a small but growing number of French women wear coverings over the entire body, or with just the eyes exposed.

The director of the largest Mosque in Paris is worrying that Sarkozy's action might inflame tensions with Muslims.

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