Well now we have an interesting situation. The Italians have already levied a fine to enforce a new law, now let’s see if they have the fortitude to enforce an old law, the one against kidnapping and forced confinement. If this man intends to keep his wife in a crate like a dog, then I think existing laws are sufficient to keep him in jail indefinitely. We shall see.
‘I have to keep her indoors now’: Muslim husband’s shocking response as wife is first to be fined £430 for wearing a burka
By Nick Pisa
Last updated at 5:25 PM on 4th May 2010
The Muslim husband of the first woman in Italy to be fined for wearing a burka has vowed to never let her outside again, because he doesn’t want other men looking at her.
Amel Marmouri, 26, was handed a penalty of 500 euros (£430) after being spotted by police officers in a post office in the northern city of Novara.
The fine is the first case of its kind in the country.
But the Tunisian’s husband, Ben Salah Braim, 36, said she will now have to remain indoors.
‘I just don’t know where we are going to get 500 euros to pay the fine. We thought as she was going to the mosque she was OK to wear the burqa.
‘We knew about the law and I know that it’s not against my religion but now Amel will have to stay indoors.
‘I can’t have other men looking at her.’
Under Italian anti-terrorist laws brought in during the 1970s to fight political activism, it is illegal to be seen in a public place with your face covered.
It had never been fully enforced but, earlier this year, Novara mayor Massimo Giordano introduced new local laws banning any clothing that ‘prevents the immediate identification of the wearer inside public buildings, schools and hospitals’.
The case comes just days after Belgium’s lower house of Parliament voted unanimously to prohibit women from wearing full-face veils in public.
If the bill is passed by the Senate, it would become Europe’s first national ‘burka ban’.
Mayor Giordano is a member of the Northern League Party, which has campaigned for a clampdown on immigration and the building of mosques.
Mr Giordano said: ‘I signed the new regulations for reasons of security but also so that people who come to live in our city are aware and respect our traditions.
‘The regulations in Novara specifically cover people wearing clothing that prevents them from being identified in a public place, and a post office is a public place.
‘This would also apply to a motorcyclist who walked into a post office wearing a crash helmet. The people of Novara do not want to see people walking around in the city wearing a burka.
‘This is the only way to stop behaviour that makes the already difficult process of integration even harder.’
Police chief Paolo Cortese said: ‘The fine was given because the woman was inside the post office at the time, which is a public building.’
The Northern League, which once called for the Italian Navy to shell boats carrying illegal immigrants towards the country, has called for the original 1975 terror law to be amended and make specific reference to Islamic face coverings.
The proposed wording would prohibit ‘the use of female garments common among women of Islamic faith known as burkas’.
Muslim groups in Italy today insisted that Italian laws must be respected.
Imam Izzedin Elzir, president of the Islamic Community and Organisations Union in Italy, said: ‘We are for the freedom of women and against veils of any kind and Italian laws must be respected.
‘We as an organisation have always said that we are against face veils or coverings in Italy because the law of recognition has to be observed.’