RIYADH (AFP) - Journalists in Saudi Arabia blasted France on Wednesday over President Nicolas Sarkozys criticism of the burqa, the head-to-toe garment favoured for women by conservative Muslims. What about personal freedom? What about respect for peoples traditions and privacy? Dawood al-Shiryan asked in Al-Hayat. What would be the reaction of French and European women if they had to cover their faces and hair in an Islamic country? Shams Ahsan, in the Saudi Gazette, asked who is indecent and spoils public morals: a burqa-clad woman or the one in a bikini? Readers emails to the Gazette insisted that the burqa is a symbol of freedom and that the nude culture is degrading to women. On Monday Sarkozy called the burqa a sign of womens subservience that was not welcome in staunchly secular France. An editorial in Arab News said the French approach to the burqa was founded in the countrys secular society, while the Dutch and Danish attempts to restrict it were rooted in anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant racism.