"The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue, it is a question of freedom and of women's dignity," Mr. Sarkozy said. "The burqa is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women."
"I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory," he said to enthusiastic applause.
. . . .
Mr. Sarkozy noted that "In the republic, the Muslim religion must be respected like other religions."
But he declared that "the burqua 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."
Mr. Sarkozy gave his public support to a cross-party initiative by close to 60 legislators, who proposed a parliamentary commission to review the burqa and methods to combat its spread.