French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to ban the wearing of burkas in France.  The argument is that the garment represents female subservience to 14th century Islamicist patriarchy and thus presents a threat to western liberal democracy.  Therefor, we liberate the women by forcing them to wear clothes more to our liking.  It’s all about freedom!

The Netherlands considered a similar ban a few years ago, but ultimately rejected it.

As noted below, what I characterize as a defense of choice is being argued as a position of cultural conservatism combined with left chic denial of the dangers of Islam to our own political culture.  To the conservatives around here, are you concerned that the US legal system is going to be converted to Sharia law?  Does tolerance of burqas increase the danger?

More practical questions – will the burqa be universally banned?  From theater?  Film?  Should special permits be required?  Should the law extend to men?  What constitutes a burqa legally?  At what point does a nun’s habit become a burqa?  What if the women start wearing nylon stocking masks instead?  Or Woody Woodpecker masks?

Addendum: Swimwear for Muslim women.