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Should the burkha be banned in Britain?

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In the wake of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s support for the burkha to be banned in France, several commentators have called for the all-enveloping gown to be outlawed in Britain too.

“In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity,” Sarkozy said. “The burkha is not a religious sign, it’s a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement. It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.”

The issue arose in Britain three years ago when Jack Straw asked Muslim women wearing veils to remove them when they visited his Blackburn constituency surgery. He called the veils a “visible statement of separation and difference.”

The Daily Express weighs in this week with a call for the burkha to be banned in Britain, a demand echoed in the Daily Mail by Saira Khan, runner-up in the first series of ”The Apprentice.”

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