Unlike his pandering cohort from across the pond, the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has the guts to declare a war on burka. Rejecting the waffling and the euphemisms of the apologists, he has mustered the courage to call a burka a burka. An anachronism that is nothing but a manifestation of the reprehensible and misogynistic idea in Islam that the exposure of even an inch of a woman's skin is fraught with danger. Danger to the ogling men, who will be forced to neglect their duty to bomb the hell out of the infidels and themselves. Instead of the heavenly embrace of the virgins that allah has guaranteed for them, they will be eternally damned by their frenzies of lust for the temptress. What could be worse than that, eh?
President Sarkozy, in his address to the French Parliament, declared to the applauding MPs and Senators:
"The problem of the burka is not a religious problem, it's a problem of liberty and women's dignity. It's not a religious symbol, but a sign of subservience and debasement. I want to say solemnly, the burka is not welcome in France. In our country, we can't accept women prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity. That's not our idea of freedom."
The applause was well deserved, but Sarkozy went on:
"We must not fight the wrong battle. In the republic, the Muslim religion must be respected as much as other religions."
Now, Sarkozy is obviously attempting to regain his balance on the political tight rope, as he deflects the battle away from Islam.
What are we battling against, if not the idea that woman is inferior to man, that woman must be subservient to man, that woman must not have the right to choose freely? And, where exactly are these strictures pronounced, the strictures that have eternal validity, that are the words of god, and therefore beyond challenge? If these are not in Islam, in the Koran, or the Hadiths, then why are they the law in most Islamic countries?
President Sarkozy is not quite there yet, but it must be granted that he's far more credible than President Obama, who asserted this recently in his speech in Cairo:
"The U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it... I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal..."
I wish President Sarkozy had given his speech before President Obama gave his. No, the West (and, for that matter, much of the East, the North, and the South that is not under the crescent moon) does not view the woman who chooses not but feels compelled to wear the burka, the hijab, or whatever, as unequal. The idea of compulsory wear for women to protect the men from themselves, however, is quite different. That certainly is not equal — not even close — to the idea of liberty and equality.