Sarkozy: Our country cannot let French Muslim citizens be stigmatised
On Tuesday Mr Sarkozy sought to reassure French Muslims that their faith was not under attack, saying that freedom to practise religion was enshrined in the constitution.
"Our country, which has known not only wars of religion but also fratricidal battles due to state anti-clericalism, cannot let French Muslim citizens be stigmatised," he said in a speech at a cemetery for French Muslim soldiers at Notre Dame de Lorette cemetery, in northern France.
Most leaders of France's five-million-strong Muslim minority say a legal ban would be excessive since fewer than 2,000 women are said to wear them.
But one imam in the Paris suburb of Drancy, in Seine-Saint-Denis, received death threats after calling for a burka ban. Around 80 Islamists stormed his mosque on Monday and insulted him for half an hour.
"They wanted me dead," said Hassen Chalghoumi. But "we are resisting (them)," he told Radio Orient.. "My voice is that of the majority, I work for the future of my children and the French republic so that Islam can find its proper place and Muslims are respected."
Source: Daily Telegraph (English)