Sarkozy says polygamy and female circumcision are not grounds to lose citizenship

News Agencies – September 6, 2010
President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to press ahead with plans to strip French citizenship from immigrants who attack police, but ruled out that punishment for those who practice polygamy or promote female circumcision. Sarkozy first proposed reversing the naturalisation of immigrants convicted of endangering the lives of police in July in response to three days of urban riots in the southern city of Grenoble after police shot dead a suspected armed robber.
But the president’s proposals and a separate call by his Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux to strip the nationality of polygamists and female circumcision advocates, have been fiercely criticized by the opposition and some legal experts.
Left-wing and intellectual critics accuse Sarkozy of playing to racist sentiment by lumping violent crime and immigration together, and creating two classes of citizenship. Tens of thousands of demonstrators protested in several cities against Sarkozy’s security crackdown, which has included the highly publicized rounding up and expulsion of illegal Roma migrants. The government called the protest a flop.