Tensions Flare in France over Veil Ban

Edward Cody, The Washington Post, August 8, 2012

Though it was almost midnight, streets were full of Muslim families taking a stroll after breaking the Ramadan fast with a late dinner. As two policemen drove by a storefront recycled as the Grand Sunna Mosque, they noticed a woman wearing flowing black robes and a full-face veil.

The policemen alighted from their patrol car and challenged the woman on her veil, which has been illegal in France since April 2011. After an angry exchange, police said later, the woman shouted that she would not abide by the anti-veil law, and a youth told police they had no business patrolling the neighborhood and accosting its predominantly Muslim residents.

The confrontation quickly escalated into a shoving match, with several dozen young bystanders joining in and carloads of police reinforcements speeding up to lend a hand. Before long it erupted into what was described in the National Assembly in Paris as a riot, during which a female police officer was bitten on the arm and two of her male colleagues were bashed and bruised.

The sudden clash, which took place July 24 in Marseille, was the most serious instance of resistance to the veil ban during its 16 months of enforcement, according to police. Although it subsided almost as quickly as it flared, the outburst focused national attention on simmering resentment over the ban among France’s most militant and tradition-minded Muslims.

{snip}

“For young militants, this ban upsets them,” said Nassera Benmarnia, who heads the local Muslim Family Union. “But most people just want to be left alone.”

{snip}

France, which has Europe’s largest Muslim population, is the only country with a national ban against full-face veils, usually called a niqab. {snip}

Belgium’s lower house of Parliament has passed similar anti-veil legislation, and the government hopes to get the law validated soon in the Senate. The Dutch government has said it also would seek to impose a ban next year. Meanwhile, some Belgian cities, including Brussels, the capital, have already enacted bans at the municipal level.

{snip}

The French Interior Ministry said in April, on the ban’s first anniversary, that 354 women had been challenged by police for wearing full-face veils and 299 were given citations similar to traffic tickets. {snip}

 

{snip}

Estimating the number of Muslims among France’s 65 million inhabitants is difficult because it is illegal to demand people to cite their religion or ethnic background. But the Interior Ministry, along with academic researchers, has put the number at more than 5 million. Some Muslim activists say the number is closer to 6 million because illegal immigrants, many of them North African Muslims, live below the radar.

In Marseille, the Muslim population is estimated at up to 25 percent of the city’s 800,000 residents. {snip}

After the violence in the Third District, police took in the veiled woman and three young men. But an on-call magistrate, noting that this was the Ramadan period of Muslim fasting and that an angry crowd was milling about outside, ordered the four released, promising they would be called back next month to face possible charges.

Infuriating police, the magistrate also ordered an internal investigation of accusations leveled by the youths that the police were unnecessarily aggressive. The investigation prompted particular outrage because Marseille police have been struggling for months to quash a bloody turf war among drug gangs that led to the killing of a policeman last winter with an assault rifle.

{snip}

The three young men, he said, acknowledged they resisted arrest and presented their apologies. But the woman, a 19-year-old convert of European origin identified as Louise-Marie Suisse, refused to apologize and maintained her resistance to the veil ban, he added.

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Oil Can Harry

    So the police are attacked by rioters yet the judge frees the four thugs while ordering an investigation of the arresting officers! Liberalism at its finest.

    Most ominously the spineless judge also said he was releasing these goons because “an angry crowd was milling about outside”. Sounds like mob rule.

  • Oil Can Harry

    The Muslims will say those women wore nothing because they wanted to be sexually assaulted.

    Then again, they say the same thing about their camels… 

    • The__Bobster

      Why is the camel called the ship of the desert?

      Because it’s full of muzzie semen.

  • Dr Al

    Sad France.

    They came up with this “Equality, Brotherhood and Liberty” idea back around 1780.  Maybe back then when France was 99% white it worked, but such a stupid idea can not work when 20% of your population is North African and another 20% is Arab.

    These non-white invaders are NOT French.  IF anybody from France is reading this, let me remind you: They are not French. They can never be French. They don’t want to be French.

    They want to RULE YOU and control you and take your money and women.  They hate you. They hate you because you are white and better looking and can build things, like your beautiful buildings.  They can’t.  

    They envy and they hate.

    France. Wake up.  You hated being ruled by Germans, remember? Why? Germans for the most part look exactly like you but spoke German.  Many of your German rulers spoke French and you wanted them out OF YOUR COUNTRY. But look at you today. You are ruled by people who don’t look like you, don’t think like you and can barely speak clear French.  At least your Nazi German rules spoke REAL French are were proud of your culture.

    France. Fight. Begin the “resistance”.  Form gangs and get armed.  If the Algerians could fight you, then you can begin to fight back against your Algerian Masters.

    France is for WHITE FRENCH PEOPLE only.

  • Multiculturalism means that French police don’t have the right to patrol France.

    Kick all the muslims out.

  • This buffon is not a judge. He is a groveling,spineless diversity whore.

    • Up to my neck in CA

      “The three young men, he said, acknowledged they resisted arrest and presented their apologies.”

      Hey, they apologized!!  It always works for the yoofs here when they “get caught up” in the system. Sarcasm off

  • H-aschneider

    it is silly to have anti veil legislation. A total ban on Muslims would be far easier to do.

  • Ugh….Islam or no Islam, these women better put some clothes on or rush to the plastic surgery rooms.