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.