Sunday, August 09, 2009


Sixty-five percent of the readers who responded to an informal poll on my column's blog believe that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France was right to tell his country's parliament that "The burqa is not welcome on French territory." They share his assessment that that garment, worn by some Muslim women to cover their entire bodies, is "a sign of enslavement and debasement."

"I, for one, applaud Sarkozy for his courage in standing up against this anathema to personal freedom," one reader writes.

"President Sarkozy made the right choice in expressing that France is no place for burqas," agrees Sjoerd Bakker of Ontario. "Numerous freethinking, well-educated Muslim women and men ... have proven the argument that the burqa is not a religious symbol but a device for repressing women's rights and freedom."

But Maggie Lawrence of Culpepper, Va., disagrees.

"If any person wants to cover themselves from head to toe in public, I don't care, as long as they aren't disguising their identity for the purpose of crime," Lawrence writes. "For Sarkozy to say, `The burqa is not welcome on French territory,' strikes me as smug and self-righteous."

Check out other opinions here, or post your own by clicking on "Comments" or "Post a comment" below.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business and The Good, the Bad, and Your Business: Choosing Right When Ethical Dilemmas Pull You Apart, is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey, thanks for publishing my comment - even though it was left anonymously! ;)