x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Burqa ban 'would stem cancer of radical Islam'

A ban on wearing the burqa in France would stem the spread of the "cancer" of radical Islam according to the French minister Fadela Amara.

A ban on wearing the all covering burqa in France would stem the spread of what the French minister Fadela Amara called the "cancer" of radical Islam, a report quoted her as saying. The Muslim minister for urban regeneration told the Financial Times newspaper that the head-to-toe body covering and veil represented the "oppression of women, their enslavement, their humiliation". Ms Amara, who is of Algerian descent, said France was a beacon for an enlightened Islam at ease with modernity, so it was necessary to fight the "gangrene, the cancer of radical Islam which completely distorts the message of Islam".

"The vast majority of Muslims are against the burqa. It is obvious why," Ms Amara told the newspaper. "Those who have struggled for women's rights back home in their own countries - I'm thinking particularly of Algeria - we know what it represents and what the obscurantist political project is that lies behind it, to confiscate the most fundamental of liberties," she said. The comments came as French politicians conduct hearings on whether to ban the burqa after the president Nicolas Sarkozy said it was "not welcome" in secular France, home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority.