July 11, 2009
By Bindu Gurtoo, CNS
Mr. Sarkozy,by making a fatwa like declaration, has given the Islamic hardliners another opportunity to raise the bogey of western cultural imperialism.
the French president has gone and done it. In the first presidential
address in the French Parliament since 1848, the esteemed President
talked about... the Burqa! By declaring, quite theatrically in the
parliament that there was no place for the burqa in France, Mr. Sarkozy
has undone the goodwill that President Obama so painstakingly earned
for the West in Cairo last
month. Not only that, by making a fatwa like declaration, he has given
the Islamic hardliners another opportunity to raise the bogey of
western cultural imperialism. Well, what else can one expect from a man
who seems to have little clue on how to deal with global recession, or
to tackle the rising unemployment in his country or even to get his
countrymen and women to
put in an honest day's labour without going on a strike. Bombastic
statements such as these confirm the long held belief of the coloured
world that liberty is the white man's concubine who uses her
exclusively for his pleasure.
Mr. Sarkozy, how is burqa a garment of exclusion while the catholic
nun's habit is not? Granted that the burqa condemns the wearer to a
claustrophobic formlessness, but, what about the two piece bikini
designed by a man for the voyeuristic pleasure of the male gaze? How
can a culture which connives in forcing teenagers to attain impossible
thinness and applauds bizarre garments as high fashion, or sit in
judgment over others' attires? Come on Frenchies, tell us, as
instruments of debasement and oppression, how are decadence, racism,
substance abuse, bulimia, porn and pedophilia any less than the burqa?
If, by banning the burqa you are trying to rescue Muslim damsels in
distress, then may we suggest a more worthy alternative? How about
giving the Muslims in your country genuine equal opportunities that are
not sabotaged by racial snobbery?
you rush to ban the burqa the way you banned the turban, why not ban a
few other things such as tobacco, liquor and skinny fashion which have
debased and destroyed a great many of your people? But we know you are
not going to do that, Mr. Sarkozy for these are valued as expressions
of the haute French culture. And one does not desecrate one's culture
by rudelyhiving off
bits, does one? We suspect Mr. Sarkozy that you have learnt your
lessons in governance from the redoubtable Robespierre whose guillotine
had once worked overtime in the name of democracy.
Mr. Sarkozy, it is time you stepped out of the Muslim woman's wardrobe
and directed your attention to some real issues such as climate change,
recession and the future of the European Union. Or do we conclude that
it is because you are incapable of pondering over these problems that
you take refuge in her cupboard? Do come away from her closet, Presidentand
let the Muslim woman decide for herself what she would like to wear.
Ah! You are only trying to lend a helping hand, aren't you? Please
desist! For history shows us that the helping hand often ends up
slapping the helper. As the president of the nation that pioneered
popular uprising, you ought to know that revolutions have to germinate
in native soil and can never besuccessfully grafted. Instead, place your trust in the Muslims to decide on the destiny of their cultures for themselves.
Mr. Sarkozy, the time has come for France to follow the example from
across the Atlantic of her once good friend and partner- in-
revolutions and elect colored leaders? Though it may seem a daunting
task for a man of your intellect, but think Mr. Sarkozy, think!
Bobby Ramakant is a development journalist and has been writing on development issues since 1991. Health is one of the key focus areas he writes on. He is also a World Health Organization (WHO)'s WNTD awardee for 2008