William Langley: French ban on burka is a win for tolerance
Despite some high-profile protests, France’s banning of the burka is enormously popular with the public. Unfortunately, as in Britain, almost anything politicians do that the voters approve of tends to be denounced as populisme – a particularly dread charge among the over-earnest French political class – and instead of enjoying the deserved benefits, President Nicolas Sarkozy has found himself on the defensive. [...]Yes, but in Britain, who knows how easily that'll come? There's no telling if they'll even cancel the laws allowing libel tourism suits in the UK. If they haven't done so already, there's no telling if they ever will. Such is to be expected, sadly enough, in Britain.
Almost anything, in fact, than an acknowledgement that the public overwhelmingly sees the ban as right for France, beneficial to its Muslim communities and justified – if on no other grounds – as a statement in support of liberalism against darkness. Approval runs right across the spectrum, with Fadela Amara, the Algerian-born former housing minister in Sarkozy’s government, calling the burka “a kind of tomb, a horror for those trapped within it”, and André Gerin, the Communist MP who headed the commission investigating the grounds for a ban, describing it as “the tip of an iceberg of oppression”.
So what do we get in Britain? Theresa May, the Home Secretary, rules out a ban because “it would be out of keeping with our nation’s longstanding record of tolerance”, while the Leftist commentariat continues – with apparent seriousness – to suggest that the face veil is a “lifestyle choice” and essentially no different from a balaclavas worn by middle-class types on the ski slopes of Courcheval. I suspect this thinking is going to have to change.
In related news, 2 women were arrested for wearing the veil in public on day one of the ban during a demonstration. You'll notice though, that the article predictably makes an effort to defame Sarkozy and is hostile to him, because the AFP, which did the main reporting, doubtlessly condones the veil. Update: the Guardian's article about this is even worse.
Speaking of which, it's high time already that a FOX News equivalent was formed in France.