More than half of voters in four other major European states back a push by France’s Nicolas Sarkozy to ban women from wearing the burka, according to an opinion poll for the Financial Times.From the poll we see that 70 per cent favour a ban on the all-enveloping garment with a veil (niquab) in public places in France, 65 per cent in Spain and 63 per cent in Italy. The percentages were somewhat lower in Germany and the UK - 50 and 57 per cent respectively.
As Mr Sarkozy presses ahead with plans to ban the wearing of the burka in public places, the FT’s latest Harris poll shows the move is not just strongly supported in France, but wins enthusiastic backing in the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany.
In discussing the story, the FT showed its lack of understanding that the burqa is not just an item of clothing that some women choose to wear. It is a symbol and the reality of a system in which women have far fewer rights. Their word in courst is worth half of that of a man; they have no right to education or free choice in career or marriage; it is very questionable whether they have any decision in whether they want to hide themselves completely away from society around them.
Yet the article says:
The strength of feeling in the UK and Germany may seem particularly surprising. Britain has a strong liberal tradition that respects an individual’s right to full expression of religious views. But here, some 57 per cent of people still favoured a ban. In Germany, which is also reluctant to clamp down in minority rights, some 50 per cent favoured a ban.The burqa is not a religious symbol or apparel; it is a cultural one and its purpose is to negate and defy the very liberal tradition and individual freedom that is referred to in that paragraph.