It's official! The stylists of the French Senate, after a protracted squabble over what should/shouldn't be accepted as French fashion, have announced:

Out: Burkas.
In: Hair Shirts.

Don't bin your burka yet though; you can still wear it on the boulevards - it's hipper than ever - only not on public transport or when picking up the kids from school. And that's only a tip - not a law. Yet.

But as for the hair shirt... go girl! Don't hold back. The Senate stylists, feeling guilty after bitching about poor burkas (of which "only 367 are worn in France"), want to atone by offering a matching "hair of the dog" pamper pack - free! - including:

  • a Bank Holiday for Eid.
  • a National Institute for Islamic Studies.
  • an "Islamophobia" comission.

Clever fashionistas will immediately spot the imported British style. The cure for too much Islam? More Islam. The UK has set the trend for launching new Islamic centres and organisations to "combat extremism" - having with dizzying rapidity become an authority on "true" Islam. (Haven't they heard of "essentially contested concepts"?)

So you can understand why moderate Muslims are reluctant to openly bitch about their fundamentalist co-religionists. There's just too much to be gained by the latter's provocative little fashion statements. A bad week for burkas, but a great week for Islam.