The Telegraph reports:
Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, called for a full burkini ban in France on Thursday night as he warned that immigrants, minorities and the Left were threatening to destroy French identity.
In the first big speech of his campaign to win back the office he lost in 2012, Mr Sarkozy stole many ideas of the far-Right Front National, promising to reclaim France “for the French”.
“I refuse to let the burkini impose itself at French beaches and swimming pools … there must be a law to ban it throughout the Republic’s territory,” he said to thunderous applause during a speech in Provence, a stronghold of the Front National.
I’m all against religious values being forced on others, but also against the state banning people from wearing religious outfits in public.
There is a case regarding the Niqab, as that goes to the heart of a society where you can identify whom you are interacting with. But the burkini is very different.
Mr Sarkozy went on to demand that all minorities and immigrants speak French and promised – for example – that he would never accept a France where men and women had separate timetables at public swimming baths.
That is a different issue, and one I agree on. In this case it is forcing religious values on everyone else.
The speech was received with horror on the Left, with commentators on social media observing that Mr Sarkozy sounded indistinguishable from Marine Le Pen, the Front National leader whom polls suggest could reach the second round run-off in the presidential election next year.
Hollande is toast. His approval rating was 12% in July. His disapproval were a massive 86%. Most polls shows Sarkozy would beat Le Pen in the final round of voting. But Le Pen would beat Hollande.