French ban on Islamic veil turns out to be toothless

I’m sure few are surprised and for a plethora of reasons; not the least of which, is that terrorism works.

h/t TL


Published On Sat Mar 31 2012

Like many women in France, Fadela (not her real name) and a friend, Najet, wear the veil in Les Minguettes, Lyon, despite a law banning it.Like many women in France, Fadela (not her real name) and a friend, Najet, wear the veil in Les Minguettes, Lyon, despite a law banning it.

Andrew Chung/Toronto Star

Andrew Chung Staff Reporter

VÉNISSIEUX, FRANCE—It’s an unusually warm, spring morning in Venissieux, a downtrodden suburb of Lyon, and Fadela, 23, covered from head to toe in a black niqab, her black gloves adorned with elegant flower stitching, is walking with her friend Najet to the discount market called Ed.

A police car passes but does not stop. Fadela says that’s not unusual. “This is a sensitive neighbourhood,” she surmised. “It’d be a problem for the police.”

In fact, Fadela, who agreed to be interviewed on condition her real name not be used, said police have never told her to uncover her face.

Nearly one year after France implemented its controversial ban on wearing the Islamic veil— a niqab or burka — in public, a surprising fact has emerged. It appears that few women have actually removed their veils to obey the law.

As the presidential election in France approaches, and Islam and Muslim integration are top of mind, critics say the law was an exercise in pleasing the electorate, in “marketing,” while further stigmatizing Muslims.

It didn’t take a visitor to the Les Minguettes neighbourhood of Vénissieux long to observe the widespread non-compliance.

Upon emerging from the subway at Vénissieux station, a niqab-wearing woman walked in from the opposite direction, accompanied by a man. On the tram platform outside, two niqab-wearers waited, chatting. And in Les Minguettes, they were not the norm, but neither were they hard to find.

“Not much has changed, we still see the burka. There are not more, there are not less,” one high-level municipal government official in the area told the Star.

Vénissieux is the place where the idea for the law first originated, with André Gérin, then the Communist mayor and soon-to-be-retired National Assembly member.

Gérin disputed French government numbers that 2,000 women in the country wore niqabs. With so many in his community alone, he thought there were many more. He saw Islamic extremism at work and thought women’s rights were at risk.

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

4 Replies to “French ban on Islamic veil turns out to be toothless”

  1. So far the French have not enforced the law. But once they start doing, and then in response to Muslim outrage of shootings, carBQs and bombs, they start deportations, I will bet that these muslimas will take off their burqas and become moderate muslims.

    Islam is a two faced monster. It quickly changes from one to the other depending on the circumstance. It is this reason that it is so difficult to eradicate. The solution of course is not to make any such distinction between moderate and radicals. After all, Muslims themselves state, Islam is Islam. Period.

  2. DP it will take a lot of blood on the streets before the French government starts acting like you want them to.

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