Sunday, March 04, 2007

# Posted 11:04 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HAD FOUR CHILDREN OUT OF WEDLOCK: Obama? Clinton? McCain? No, it's Segolene Royal, contender to succeed Jacques Chirac as president of France.

This fact came to my attention courtesty of the New Republic, specifically in its review of Why The French Don't Like Headscarves: Islam, the State and Public Space. TNR's review [subscription only] is both quite positive as well quite interesting in and of itself.

The French headscarf ban is quite an unusual subject from an American political perspective, since it unites liberals and conservatives in the name of bashing France. For liberals, the ban represents a clear-cut assault on the civil rights of a minority whose diversity should be applauded, not suppressed. For conservatives, it is a chance to remind the French of just how much better our free-market, small-government system has done at turning immigrants into patriots.

For both liberals and conservatives, the headscarf ban represents a delightful opportunity to turn the tables on an ally that likes to look down its nose at our alleged provincialism and arrogance.

So then, why would the French do something that provides Americans with such a perfect chance to mock them so justifiably? For the answer to that question, you will have to read the review, or perhaps even the book.

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