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Calamo: France and her burqas.

IS THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT sincere in banning the big, black, radical sack? Do we really need to be able to look into the eyes of every person we pass in order to feel safe?

Those questions raises others. Does France sincerely wish to discourage fashion statements that flatter the country’s radical Islamists? Yes. Does France have any social policy in place aimed at discouraging radicalization by successfully integrating its Muslim minority? No. The burqa ban, like the headscarf ban a few years ago, is a burqa of its own, since its real purpose is to hide an unattractive political failure. Politicians in other nations don’t really need to learn how to cloak incompetence. They’ve got that down. The EU’s a burqa the size of a continent.

Forbidding burqas (and ski masks – and cheap sunglasses) at borders, banks and bars (especially bars) is fine, but banning them from the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes? Really, the monkeys are unafraid.

Besides, creating a dress code for the secular state is a strange use of public resources. Ostensibly, the law aims at preserving the secular nature of public spaces, a concept sacred in France. The only way to do that, apparently, is to mandate the secularization of the person, who must either surrender personal convictions or remain hidden and out of view. Next, deputies will be shouting off with your clothes! all you priests dressed like Nanny McPhee and you sweet-singing Breton nuns, in your unapproved wimples and wickedly flowing habits. The world must be safe from niqabs!

– Calamo.

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