Denis, although I don’t support a full ban on the burqa, there’s nothing particularly “sanctimonious” about such a step. Many societies have dress codes, including the U.S. (try walking down an American street without any clothes on, if you don’t believe me). As it happens, I think that the French already have it about right with burqa bans for civil servants, in schools, and, judging by this report in the Daily Telegraph, certain workplaces where this peculiar garment would pose a practical problem.
I also note this from the Telegraph report:
The Council of State said that a total ban could not be based on “public security” as the Islamic veil posed no “specific” threat to public order per se. However, it did not rule out making it compulsory to uncover the face in certain places to check the identity or age of the wearer, such as in courts, polling stations, or town halls for weddings. Police could also be given special powers to ban face coverings in zones where there was as “high risk” of public disorder, such as in train stations, sports venues, international conferences, museums, jewellers or banks.
Sounds sensible to me.