Carla Bruni’s husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, took the stage this morning in front of his country’s parliament, breaking a longstanding national tradition of keeping the executive and legislative branches in different rooms at all times. Aside from some blah blah blah about the economy and a bit of Obama-style hope/change talk, the stand-out statements of Sarkozy’s address were an outright condemnation of the Muslim women’s garb know as the burka. From Mr. Sarkozy’s speech:
“The issue of the burka is not a religious issue. It is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity; the burka is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women.”
"The burka is not welcome in France. We cannot accept in our country women imprisoned behind bars, cut off from social life, deprived of identity. That is not our idea of maintaining the dignity of women."
The burka, which covers a woman’s entire body head-to-toe, is part of the ancient, respected tradition of treating females like absolute shit. Critics of Sarkozy’s statements will no doubt couch their arguments in the trappings of religious respect and multiculturalism, presenting a problem for mainstream liberals, who will inevitably be torn between the issues of women’s rights and the dignity and preservation of cultures browner than themselves.
Back in 2004, France, home to Westen Europe’s largest Muslim population (about five million), banned Muslim headscarves in public schools. The Islamic minority out in les banlieues wield a significant political hand, as the spectre of civil unrest and rioting peasant hordes present a terrifying prospect to the leader of a guillotine-happy nation such as France. Still, after the cartoon wars of a few years back, when a couple of sissy publishers resisted and then gave in to the idiot anger of a religious mob, maybe the secular people of Europe are sick of gutless PC pandering to fundamentalist, woman-enslaving assholes. Anything’s possible.
At the end of his speech, Sarkozy donned a beret, ate some cheese, and led the parliament in a rousing rendition of "Frere Jacques," using a baguette in mock imitation of a conductor’s baton.