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If I ruled the world: mandatory burqas

The French may be banning the veil—but as Brits, we should go one better and insist on it. And hats for men too, while we’re at it

By James Hawes   September 2010

President Nicolas Sarkozy recently urged French Muslims not to feel “hurt or stigmatised” by the planned ban on burqas. Sarkozy’s argument is watertight: to make sure it gets every sou of what is Caesar’s, the French state has for generations fought off cardinals. So why should it not also defy imams? We mere fudging Brits can only stand helpless before the shining logic of Gallic etatism.

But I propose a more cunning solution to incorporate fully “an immense body of persons who, however patriotic, able and industrious… still, by their own action, remain a people apart” (that was Arthur Balfour…

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