PARIS - The head of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party said yesterday he wants a law to ensure that Muslim women who wear face-covering veils do not acquire French nationality.
Xavier Bertrand, head of the conservative UMP party, said the full veil “is simply a prison for women who wear it’’ and “will make no one believe’’ a woman wearing it wants to integrate.
France is moving closer to banning such veils, even though only a tiny minority of Muslim women wear them. A top UMP lawmaker last week filed legislation to ban the garb, and a parliamentary committee studying the issue for the past six months is to turn in its report on whether a law is needed by the end of the month. That panel has lawmakers from the left and right.
Sarkozy opened debate on the topic in June, telling a special gathering of both houses of Parliament that veils that cover the face “are not welcome’’ in France. He reiterated his position last Wednesday, saying the full veil “is contrary to our values and contrary to the ideals we have of a woman’s dignity.’’
Bertrand’s remarks were particularly bold because he clearly stated that women wearing such veils should not be allowed to acquire nationality.