French police fine woman for wearing veil

2011-04-12 10:45

Versailles, France – French police fined a woman for wearing a full-face Islamic veil, the first reported enforcement of a ban on the garment on the day it came into effect, a police source said today.

The 27-year-old woman was fined €150 (R1 451) “without incident” in a shopping centre in Mureaux, northwest of Paris, early yesterday evening, the source said, without elaborating on exactly what she was wearing.

France yesterday became the first country in Europe to apply a ban on the wearing of full-face coverings, including the Islamic niqab.

At least two niqab-wearing women were arrested the same day for protesting the ban.

French police have voiced fears the law will be impossible to enforce, since they have not been empowered to use force to remove head coverings, and could face resistance in already tense immigrant districts.

But Interior Minister Claude Gueant insisted yesterday that the ban would be fully applied, in the name of “secularism and equality between men and women... two principles upon which we can not compromise. The police and the gendarmerie are there to apply the law and they will apply the law,” he said.

The law came into effect at an already fraught moment in relations between the state and France’s Muslim minority, with Sarkozy accused of stigmatising Islam to win back votes from a resurgent far right.

French officials estimate that only around 2 000 women, from a total Muslim population estimated at between four and six million, wear the full-face veils that are traditional in parts of the Arab world and South Asia.

Many Muslims and rights activists say the rightwing president is targeting one of France’s most vulnerable groups to signal to anti-immigration voters that he shares their fear that Islam is a threat to French culture.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.