Francois Hollande may be the first Muslim-elected president of France. With an estimated 93 percent of Muslim voters casting their ballots for Hollande, in a close election, their numbers may have made the difference between victory and defeat. The makeup of France’s new government reflects the debt that Hollande owes to his Muslim voters.
Hollande had said during the campaign that he would uphold the law on the burqa ban, with the caveat that he would apply it in the best ways possible—a statement which leaves plenty of wriggle room for minimizing enforcement. And his appointment of Christiane Taubira as Justice Minister suggests that soon enough Mademoiselle Liberty will don the burqa.
Taubira, a Guyanese radical leftist, who despite being appointed Justice Minister has no law degree, voted against the law banning hijabs in schools– one of only a handful of members of the National Assembly to do so. She did not cast a vote at all on the 2010 burqa ban, but this year she signed on to an MTE petition on behalf of “veiled mothers” which denounced the “endless series of offenses” against Muslims, a list which included the “anti-headscarf law” and “anti-niqab legislation.”