Besson said that though he was not in favor of banning the muslim religious symbol but he he made bones about calling it 'counter to national values'.
"For me no burqa's on the street," said Besson on LCI televison
The controversial statement was made in the 'national debate' on French national identity. Besson's statement came close after President Nicholas Sarkozy's similar opinion about burqa being a form of imprisonment for women. Earlier Sarkozy had suggested a two and half month long debate on the theme "what does it mean to be French?" at the backdrop of reaffirming national values and pride in being French.
The President's and his Immigration Minister's opposing stand on the veil issue has found a strong protest from head of France largest Muslim body, Mohammed Moussaoui who said that burqa signifies entry in to radical Islam so having a debate on the possible exclusion of it is hurting the religious sentiments of the Muslim community with Islam being the second largest religion in France.