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International
Banning the Burkha 30 June 2009
women and the burkha
Is it "subservient and debasing"?

President Sarkozy has declared that the burkha and the niqab – both forms of Muslim veils - are no longer welcome in France. In a speech to parliament, the president said he regarded such extreme veils as ‘subservient and debasing’ and the women that chose to wear them ‘prisoners behind a screen’. The comments may be inflammatory but it’s a debate that is gathering pace on the continent. So what is it like for those women who wear the burkha in western countries? And is this debate one that we in Britain could, and should, be having?  To discuss the issues Jane is joined by Um Abdullah who wears the burka and Maryam Namazie who wants it banned.  Emma Jane-Kirby, the BBC's Correspondent in France explains the background.
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