A ban on wearing the all covering burka in France would stem the spread of the "cancer" of radical Islam, a Muslim French minister has said.
Fadela Amara, the minister for urban regeneration who is of Algerian descent, told the Financial Times newspaper on Saturday that the head-to-toe body covering and veil represented the "oppression of women, their enslavement, their humiliation."
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," Amara was quoted as saying.
"The vast majority of Muslims are against the burka. It is obvious why," she 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 legislators conduct hearings on whether to ban the burka after President Nicolas Sarkozy said it was "not welcome" in secular France, home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority.
Source: Al Jazeera (English)
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