Muslim clerics in Uttar Pradesh outraged over Sarkozy's 'burqa' remarks

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Lucknow, June 23(ANI): Muslim clerics in Lucknow on Tuesday expressed their displeasure at the French President Nicolas Sarkozy for terming the burqa as an index of subjugating women, and said Muslims must be given complete freedom to practice their religion.

"It's an attack on freedom of humanity and the people who profess secularism are talking just in contrast to that. If Muslims are living in their country, then the Muslims must be given complete freedom to practice their religion; else declare it a Christian theocratic country so that all the Muslims would leave," said Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi, a senior Shia Muslim cleric.

French President had said on Monday that the wearing of burqas, the traditional Muslim garment covering women from head to toe, was not "welcome in France." He said the burqa was a "sign of subservience" and a matter of "a woman's freedom and dignity,"

However, his remarks have not gone down well with Muslim clerics here, who said that such statements by the head of a state is an attempt to defame Islam and Muslims all over the world.

France, home to Europe's largest Muslim minority, is divided over how to reconcile secular values with religious freedom. (ANI)

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