Thursday, September 11, 2008
Economist Élie Cohen considers Sarkozy's recently announced industrial policy regarding the Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire and finds it "inadapted, inefficient, illusory, and dangerous."
When the controversy first erupted, it was over le foulard islamique. Then it was le voile. The vocabulary then proliferated, and lately the Conseil d'État took the burqa to be a sign of insufficient assimilation to qualify for French citizenship. But if the burqa was beyond the pale (the irony of this term is not lost on me), what about the hijab, niqab, abaya, jilbab, and chador? And what if these words, bandied about in learned French legal discussion, no longer had any clear meaning or relation to their (diverse) cultures of origin? How can anyone, and especially a French jurist reasoning abstractly and with no special knowledge of these vestimentary signs, know with any confidence what the wearing of them signifies? These are among the questions raised by this morning's post by the proofreaders of Le Monde.