News24

Muslim women fined in France over veils

2011-09-22 12:44

Paris - A French court on Thursday convicted two women for wearing Islamic face veils in public, in the first conviction since a ban on wearing the veils came into effect in April.

The court in the town of Meaux, about 40km east of Paris, fined Hind Ahmas, 32, and another woman for appearing outside the local town hall in niqabs - a veil that covers the hair and face with a slit for the eyes, their lawyer Gilles Devers told the German Press Agency dpa.

Devers said Ahmas was fined €120 and the other woman €80.

He said he would appeal their conviction, claiming the ban violates the women's basic rights.

"The problem is not the fine. The problem is that these women are effectively under house arrest. That's the real punishment," Devers said.

Hoping to be fined

France was the first European country to ban the wearing of the Islamic burqa, or full-body covering, and niqab in public. Since then dozens of women have been booked by police but no cases, bar this one, had gone to court.

Ahmas and her co-accused were fined after showing up at Meaux town hall on May 5 with a birthday cake for Mayor Jean-Francois Cope, who is also the leader of President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative ruling Union for a Popular Majority (UMP).

The cake was made of almonds - a word that sounds like the French word for fines (amendes) - and was meant as a dig at the government over its timid application of the ban.

Ahmas had said she hoped to be fined, so that she could challenge the law, which she sees as an attack on her freedom of religion, all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if her appeals failed in France.

An estimated 2 000 women in France were estimated to wear the garments when the law was passed last year.

Comments
  • Kale - 2011-09-22 12:50

    GO FRANCE. Finally a country making a stand. Why should we allow them to continue to impose their believes on people when they are in a foreign country.

      Johannes Viljoen - 2011-09-22 13:00

      No, Kale you dom!!! Dude why should anybody be deprived of their believes??? Thank God I'm South African!!!

      kingkong - 2011-09-22 13:12

      correct . they wont alllow you to do what you want in a islamic country so why the other way around. get out of the dark ages move on man.

      Zelios - 2011-09-22 13:13

      @GrimReaper1 Your lack of intelligence is showing in your comment. Everyone is entitled to believe what they want however if you stay in a country you must abide by their laws. If you travel to Saudi Arabia you have to dress in a certain way and their are also certain restrictions on unaccompanied females. So I do not see how it is unfair for France to make laws regarding certain items of clothing. So think before you make such a moronic comment.

      Jason - 2011-09-22 13:13

      lol, its all a joke.. maybe they shud fine sarcozy for sleeping with whores and marrying them, ugh.

      yoonus abrahams - 2011-09-22 13:18

      um... are you deficient? the muslim women arent trying to impose the niqab on other women. they're being fined for practicing their religious beliefs which is a violation of their human rights.

      SiyaphiSiyaphi - 2011-09-22 13:19

      You've got it the other way around. These women are not imposing their beliefs; the beliefs of the majority are being imposed on them. How would you react if women are not allowed to wear pants in SA on the grounds that they are alien to African culture?

      CHIPPER_CHAP - 2011-09-22 13:25

      Yes Kale. when in Rome you do as the Romans. Before long they will start claiming a veil homeland and who knows what breeds from underneath that. I say send them all out of France.

      Mebob - 2011-09-22 13:25

      The Muslim men can look at all the other women and perve on them, but they won't allow others to look at their women?That sounds like hypocrites to me.What if there was a man hiding under the clothing waiting to commit a crime?

      Parko - 2011-09-22 13:28

      Kale - by your logic every woman in SA should immediatly go topless as that was the style of the land

      Achmatf - 2011-09-22 13:34

      @Kale: How is expressing yourself & your beliefs imposing them on others. No one fores these women to cover themselves. Its THEIR choice to do so according to their beliefs. In my opinion, only perverts appose a woman covering herself if SHE WANTS to do so. What better could you ask for from a sister or a devoting wife, than for her to only reveal her true beauty to those whom SHE CHOOSES??? @2WhiteStars : You mean European laws and standards such as "freedom of expressions & Women's rights"? You mean the very so called standards & laws that are being violated by the very people that implemented them??? I dont know what religion you belong to,if any, but even if you where religious, would you like any religious restrictions placed on you in ANY country?

      Krush - 2011-09-22 13:55

      I don't think the banning has anything to do with religion, they're taking security measures. However, as much as I agree that they need to abide by the laws of the country they're in; and that yes,when we are in their countries they force us to abide by their rules; if this was not a security measure there isn't really much reason to ban it. I do feel sorry for the women though as the laws are imposed upon them by men and if they wear it in the street they get fined, if they don't wear it what punishment do they receive from the men? To muslim men out there, how do you deal with this law. Would you deny your wife the right to go out in public without it on or would you just have a measure of punishment for her if she does this? Just curious.

      Johannes Viljoen - 2011-09-22 13:59

      When in Rome do what the Roman's do you say, but dude this is Africa, so does that mean you should be doing what the Africans do

      Grant - 2011-09-22 14:40

      I know it relates more to extremists... but why should anybody be allowed to hide their identity (whether under the pretense of religion or not)? Like it or not, public safety also comes into the equation. Imagine the uproar if a criminal was identified as "someone with a burqa", and police promptly apprehended all people nearby wearing them. Oooh...those racists!! ;) Besides all of this... If honour-killings are within a "religion", should that mean that people living in MY country should be allowed to act like that - just because THEY think its okay??

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 14:59

      @Grant A criminal could ''hide their identity'' wearing your basic swine flu mask. You shouldn't be afraid of niqaab. I'm sure you've seen many SA muslim wearing it and don't exactly see them blowing things up :P The law in muslim countries like Saudi Arabia is based on RELIGION. If that's the way they choose to live let them and respect it. No citizen of Saudi Arabia is being forced to live there. A bear in mind that country has extremely low rate of murder and crime compared to the country we live in.

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 15:01

      @KC.. what exactly is it about the niqaab that bothers you so much..? Were you hurt by a women in niqaab before..? lol

      BOFFINBOB_RETURNS - 2011-09-22 15:05

      Kale. 100%. If these muslims choose to live in a western society, then they sure as hell better obey the law of the land. Just as we infedels have to when visiting their countries. No debate.

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 15:14

      @onetickie.. Dubai is an islamic country, you can drink alcohol and you can swim in shorts and swimsuits.. What would Jesus say to how you're behaving..? :P

      Sharief - 2011-09-22 15:14

      People are all from God,the country France belongs to God,infact the whole world belongs to God..so anybody can wear what they want,where they want no matter their colour or race or even religion..so@KALE,stop being prejudice and sort out your own life,everybody has problems,some bigger then others

      Humpme Dumpm - 2011-09-22 15:15

      @Johannes.....(my "Attorney" friend).......you have deprived some town of its village idiot.....an atttorney would refer to someone as "my learned friend".....not "dude".....its their country, their laws....and they're entitled to apply them as they wish.....another snot klap coming your way.......you just have to always be different Vuiljoen

      Charmain - 2011-09-22 15:24

      Right On! In their Islamic countries women from SA and other countries are forced to cover even our ankles and arms in public! What makes them different - if they don't like it, they can go back to their own country!!

      Skietlood - 2011-09-22 15:32

      The Netherlands, most probably the most liberal country in the world is also busy formulating legislation to ban full-face veils. If the Muslims don't like it, they should go back to their country where it's legal. They left their own countries with its customs in order to live a better life and are now enforcing their sharia laws on Westerners. The fact is that how do you deal with people whose faces you can's see? In Western culture trust is established by looking at someone.

      I_Say - 2011-09-22 16:02

      You sound like JuJu "Get out imperialists and capitalists because this is Africa and you don't belong here" ....

      aldo.wetsch - 2011-09-22 16:54

      @Johannes pity like many South Africans you a bit slow. You are not allowed any Christian relics or even to read the bible in a Muslim country. If you want religious freedom give religious freedom. If you do not like it go back to your Muslim country and practice your religion there. Oh when last did you see a cultural sacrifice taking place in SA..it is after all you that said freedom of religion...so why stop black people slaughtering a goat and worshipping their ancestors? Well at least you as a SA is not depriving them of their believes....wake up dude making me embarrassed to be a South African. Ignorance is bliss.

      Mathew James Eyre - 2011-09-22 17:18

      All the people that say this is bad of France, get a life!! You follow the laws of the land first then your beliefs. I think France has every right to do what they believe. Why should the majority of France live in fear? We know how the terrorist work. We know they will hide behind the niqab. And so many people know that we have to do what they say in their countries. The moral of the story is if you dont like, P!$$ off.

  • grimbie1 - 2011-09-22 12:58

    When in Rome do as the Romans do. When i go to abhu dhabi i cant hold my girlfriends hand or kiss or over a romantic meal. So why should they be treated differently when they go to other places. If they want to live or visit a place then abide by the law of the land. GrimReaper1 grow up dude get an education and stand up for the place you live and the culture you belong to. Doesnt matter if you black r white.

      yoonus abrahams - 2011-09-22 13:20

      cool, im gonna take over the world and pass a law that makes it illegal to be an idiot. I hope you enjoy the black vacuum of space...

      unrealchris - 2011-09-22 13:21

      100 % correct. They force their laws onto you in their countries, so you can force your laws onto them when they visit, we are all to blerry PC in this world nowadays!

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-22 13:29

      Yoonus, then it'd be easier to turn the prisons into forts and use them to hide from all the stooopids people

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 14:31

      Nobody is IMPOSING beliefs on anybody. A human being should be free to dress as they feel be it for religious or personal reasons. It's not much sacrifice for a European non-muslim to dress according to a muslim country's laws while on holiday or work or visit. Nobody is FORCING you to change your religion or beliefs just because you're dressing a certain a way. If you understand Islam and it's history you will realize that the laws in these countries are based on strict Islamic rule. And yes in countries like Saudi Arabia a woman is required by law to show moderation. That means you cover you're hair and body it doesn't have to be full niqaab. Wear anything you want underneath but cover in public. That's the difference. The law to cover is based on a RELIGIOUS reason. Religion is part of your intrinsic belief. But in France the ban on niqaab is based on fear and not wanting anybody to have the freedom to dress according to their beliefs just because Islam is not acceptable to french culture. If it was a CHRISTIAN belief to pass such a law it's a different story. It would be a law based on your RELIGIOUS belief. And then by all means don't wear a niqaab in that country. In SA you have traditional garments black, white, indian all dress the way they want. Imagine if you didn't have the right to dress the way you wanted in the country you're living in. Point I'm making religious laws are different from social and cultural laws.

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 14:45

      @grimbie1.. you say stand up for your culture and country then why it wrong for a muslim women to stand up for hers? In Islam religion and culture go together. Fighting for religion is fighting for culture. You're trying to say you're culture is better. That's not right. I'm sure you're christian is that what you're religion teaches you..?

      Moi1980 - 2011-09-22 14:47

      @yoonus - did you even read grimbie1's comment??? I have also travelled to Abu Dhabi and can affirm that what he says is correct. There are signs in malls prohibiting kissing in public etc...So in all fairness, if when visiting one of the arab countries, visitors have to abide by their laws, then when arabs are in foreign countries, they have to abide by the laws of that particular country.

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 15:28

      @MOI 1980.. The laws in those countries are based on RELIGION. The laws in france are based on fear, politics and oppression. If it says to ban a niqaab in the holy Bible and if it's something that Christiaans firmly believe then so be it. Just because it's law in a country doesn't mean it's right. Apartheid was LAW in SA. And that's not right. SA is not governed based on Christianity but other Islamic countries are governed based on religion. Respect religion. But don't respect bias and oppression.

      Sharief - 2011-09-22 15:31

      Gee,South Africans has issues...Grimbie,if ur religion commands u to go to church on Sunday then you go on Sunday no matter if u in Durban or New York,so if these women wants to wear their Burqa then let them..

      Moi1980 - 2011-09-22 16:00

      @boomboom - why should it matter what the laws are based on??? It's the law of the country. That's all that matters.

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 16:10

      @Moi1980.. guess you were pro apartheid then. No value as to what's right and wrong.

  • temp1 cascade - 2011-09-22 13:08

    AKale, utter nonsense, why then are Americans and white imperialist allowed to impose their LAWS in our countries...it is AFRICAN to have many wives but you critisize Zuma, i dont condone, but lets not be HYPOCRITES!!! - WHY MUST FRANCE IMPOSE THEMSELVES ON LIBYA?!?!?! - it is NONE of their business...

      Kudubul - 2011-09-22 13:45

      Firstly I would have thought Libya is free from oppression by some idiotic dictator which you got to thank the west for. Secondly what laws is being impossed on African Countries by imperialist exept trade agreements.Anyway any African country without basic human right laws today is doomed! Thirdly Zuma can have his 20 wifes as long as they dont all have to travel on youre and my tax money.Surely you can see the problem.

      Krush - 2011-09-22 14:03

      @Temp1 Cascade. You are right! Burn your clothes. That is not African. Stop going to school or educating yourself. That is not African. Stop using the hospitals and man made medications. That is not African. Stop using electricity, computers, technology. That is not African. Stop driving on the streets. That is not African. Stop living in houses. That is not African. Instead, let us bear our loin cloths, build mud huts and hunt wild animals. Let us rape, steal and plunder. Let us only make use of things developed and created by Africans. Let us die of poverty, disease and malnutrition. This is the African way!!! Viva AFRICA viva.

      BOFFINBOB_RETURNS - 2011-09-22 15:07

      Krush...Excellent response. Thank you.

  • shellerjc - 2011-09-22 13:09

    Disgusting, This should not have been allowed. I am not muslim, if thats what you are thinking. Muslim woman actually have respect for themsleves & believe that they must be covered up - unlike the rest of the worlds woman who walk around half naked, just get a guy to notice them and then cry fowl when things dont go their way

      LJ Graey - 2011-09-22 13:33

      The issue isn't about "morality" as the pundits would have you believe Shellerjc. It's about security. Wearing a full face cover in public is exactly the same as wearing a motorcycle helmet. Full face helmets have been banned in certain public areas for quite some time. It's about being able to identify a person, especially if that person might pose a threat to the citizenry. It's fine and well to get mad at the French government for imposing such a anti-islamic seeming law. But weigh asking someone to simply show them your face up against the threat of having armed and dangerous people walking around in garb that makes them completely unrecogniseable because it's their "right" then it starts making more sense. I for one don't agree that the face viel should be completely banned in public, but I do believe that anyone insisting on living in a "liberal" society should at the very least be WILLING to concede to the perfectly reasonable request of making yourself visibly identifiable.

      Kudubul - 2011-09-22 13:51

      I cant believe we living in the modern world with thinking like yourse.So what you are saying is that woman not fully covered has no self respect. Crying fowl for what, getting raped??? so thats the penelty for walking not fully covered. idiot!

      Moi1980 - 2011-09-22 14:49

      Sorry, but the "crying fowl" just cracked me up! :)

      BOFFINBOB_RETURNS - 2011-09-22 15:11

      shellerjc....Blonde, blue eyed women in black bikinis rock. " They be having it. "

      daaivark - 2011-09-22 15:16

      Ja Moi. Poor chick.

      IC1 - 2011-09-22 15:22

      When in Rome......

  • Ryan Tunney - 2011-09-22 13:13

    Well done France...and if they don't like it there's a place called Saudi Arabia that will allow them to practice their beliefs. If they're so religious and it means so much to them to wear their veils then I'm sure it's a small sacrifice for them to make to move to Saudi Arabia.

  • Grant Hide - 2011-09-22 13:14

    I'm soz, but my feeling on this debate is that if you can't show anyone who you are, then u r a suspect for any crime in the area. I think if i could put clothing on my car and cover the number plates, would amount to the same thing they want.

      grimbie1 - 2011-09-22 13:20

      I see your point yes..but..this is from a family point of view for them. Its the relationship between husband and wife. The wife doesnt want other men having sexual thoughts over her. It is seen as respect to your husband and keeping your body and looks for him. It doesnt have to much for criminal activity but yes i can see how it can be used for criminal activity.

  • Rikhogrande - 2011-09-22 13:18

    And in muslim countries you women are banned from not wearing a burka!

  • unrealchris - 2011-09-22 13:19

    well I say good fro France. When any woman goes to most Muslim countries they are forced to wear a veil. So why not show them the oppisite side of the coin as well?

  • SiyaphiSiyaphi - 2011-09-22 13:32

    Let's stop the hypocrisy! How many people of European descent in SA do anything even remotely African. Surely, the same principle applies here. This is an untenble, bigoted rationale, and everyone knows it.

      Felix - 2011-09-22 13:39

      I drink and dance all the time?

      Dinti - 2011-09-22 13:54

      @Felix....refreshing...what else do Africans do?

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 15:40

      No Siyaphi you are wrong. the point is you need to follow the laws of the country. do you think Rastafarians would smoke dope in an Islamic country ? no they wouldnt, because even though its part of their religion they would be hanged in public. which i think is a little bit worse than a couple hundred euros fine.

  • LiraShea - 2011-09-22 13:53

    Come on 2WhiteStars, of course they have place in Europe. They have been around since the 14th-15th century and it the Islamic influence is recognised in the European Renaissance. In fact their rule in Eastern and Southern Europe ended only at the beginning of the 20th century. Some parts of Europe have been Muslim for centuries. Ai ai ai.

      2WhiteStars - 2011-09-22 14:36

      They've been in Europe thanks to their attempts to conquer it - especially Spain and Sicily. That was until the Reconquista, when Europeans threw them out. Now they're coming back via immigration and we all know what the real agenda is, don't we?

      daaivark - 2011-09-22 15:17

      What 2WhiteStars? Fresher dates in your loaves?

  • thrusha13 - 2011-09-22 13:55

    when one visits an islamic country, we need to obey by their rules so surely the same should apply to them visiting a non islamic country. what applies for one, should apply for all.

  • Gary - 2011-09-22 14:17

    If they don't like the laws of France.................leave.

      Luapolku - 2011-09-22 14:50

      If you dont like Malema or the ANC leave, because most blacks do so its the norm of the country, nice Logic

  • Ryan - 2011-09-22 14:26

    so all you people like Yoonis and Siyaphi and Achmat think its wrong for France to prosecute the woman because of her religious dress ... and yet in Islamic countries you can't smoke dope, now tell that to the Rastarian religious okes. not only would they get fined, theyd probably be hanged in public. point is, dont break a countries laws, irrespective of whether you think they are right or wrong. thats just dumb. and also, if you dont like the country's laws then F off to some other place.

      Luapolku - 2011-09-22 14:51

      If you dont like Malema or the ANC leave, because most blacks do so its the norm of the country, nice Logic

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 14:57

      many skilled and educated people have left SA because of people like Malema

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 14:59

      you could also say to the blacks that if they dont like the AWB they can leave too

      daaivark - 2011-09-22 15:17

      Ryan, and this relates to women in France exactly how?

      Luapolku - 2011-09-22 15:26

      @Ryan, so all the french that dont like the veil can leave, amazing arguements u presenting

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 15:32

      Daaivark, did you not read my post. its pretty clear. woman in france feels persecuted becuase of her religion. a rastafarian in an islamic country for instance would feel persecuted too. so its not just france thats a problem, if you consider their law a problem.

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 15:34

      @ Lua ... yea if they want to wear the veil they must either leave france, or continue to get fines. what advice would you give to a Rastafarian that wants to smoke dope in Iran ???

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 16:12

      They can continue to get fines :D Remember we got the oil.. We'll pay in full for the 2000 women for years to come.. :P lol

  • Miss NJP,PTA - 2011-09-22 14:26

    I agree with Thrusha13, like the saying "when in Rome do as Romans do". Thousands of Christains in countries where Muslims dominate are persecuted. Eg Egypt not so long ago Coptic Churches were burnt and Christians killed.

      Luapolku - 2011-09-22 14:51

      If you dont like Malema or the ANC leave, because most blacks do so its the norm of the country, nice Logic

  • boomboom - 2011-09-22 14:29

    Nobody is IMPOSING beliefs on anybody. A human being should be free to dress as they feel be it for religious or personal reasons. It's not much sacrifice for a European non-muslim to dress according to a muslim country's laws while on holiday or work or visit. Nobody is FORCING you to change your religion or beliefs just because you're dressing a certain a way. If you understand Islam and it's history you will realize that the laws in these countries are based on strict Islamic rule. And yes in countries like Saudi Arabia a woman is required by law to show moderation. That means you cover you're hair and body it doesn't have to be full niqaab. Wear anything you want underneath but cover in public. That's the difference. The law to cover is based on a RELIGIOUS reason. Religion is part of your intrinsic belief. But in France the ban on niqaab is based on fear and not wanting anybody to have the freedom to dress according to their beliefs just because Islam is not acceptable to french culture. If it was a CHRISTIAN belief to pass such a law it's a different story. It would be a law based on your RELIGIOUS belief. And then by all means don't wear a niqaab in that country. In SA you have traditional garments black, white, indian all dress the way they want. Imagine if you didn't have the right to dress the way you wanted in the country you're living in. Point I'm making religious laws are different from social and cultural laws.

  • Luapolku - 2011-09-22 14:58

    All you Islam haters that are getting excited about this let me assure u this will only make muslims stronger and put make more woman wear the veil, just like 911 url thought Islam will take a knock but instead, record conversions to Islam took place after 911, London is now dubbed Londonistan, Muslims all over the world have become much better muslims, more men with beards, more woman with veils, thats why the west is so scared they now banning veils and minarets, go ahead do what url want the more url put us down the stronger we get, this has how it has always been throughout History, Islam spreads through sacrifice and hardship.. "They try to estinguish the light of Allah with their mouths but Allah seeks to complete his light no matter how much the disbelievers detest it" Quran

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 15:09

      Christians are scared of Muslims ?? dont be a muppet

      Luapolku - 2011-09-22 15:17

      not really the christians at ground level, its the powers at the top(zionists and their allies) who are scared of the spread of Islam, they are not christian,more like satanists or atheists,the same pwople who promote evolution which is against christianity and Islam

      Taurus 11 - 2011-09-22 15:33

      The laws of the land come before religous laws and beliefs/traditions one has to obey the laws of the country that they are in. how do your women get through customs when you have to match your passport to your face. The reason why you call London Londonistan is because of all the Pakistani immigrants

      Luapolku - 2011-09-22 15:42

      @taurus explaining why something is happening does not change the fact that it is happening so whether through imigration or not does not alter the facts, btw it is not only immigration search white converts to Islam or western converts to Islam or anything related on youtube or google and you will be in for a shock, challenge you to do this, there is an amazing number of white educated people coming into Islam, majority of then woman, despite the western propoganda that Islam is anti west and harsh to their woman as I quoted above "They try to estinguish the light of Allah with their mouths but Allah seeks to complete his light no matter how much the disbelievers detest it"

      Sharief - 2011-09-22 16:18

      Ameen,you could not have said it any better...what they dont know is that Islam will be victorious..can they not see that Islam teaches us peace and tranquility,can they not see that Islam teaches us to be patient..

  • Yusuf - 2011-09-22 15:31

    Wonder if Catholics Nuns are also banned from covering themselves...

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 15:42

      if a Catholic nun started wearing a burka she'd be fined too

      sweets18 - 2011-09-22 15:47

      Catholic Nuns are not suicide bombers.

      boomboom - 2011-09-22 16:14

      There hasn't been a burqa wearing suicide bomber in France ever since i can remember.

      Sharief - 2011-09-22 16:23

      @sweets..Mulslim women are not suicide bombers,Mulsims are against suicide cause the Holy Quaraan says that their is no forgiveness for taking one's own life,that should apply to anybody no matter which faith they follow..the West makes u fools believe that Islam is promoting suicide bombing yet all these so called suicide vests are assembled in the United States..ok,Sweets

  • Sharief - 2011-09-22 15:40

    Strange ruling coming from a country where prostitution is rife,adultery is caused daily cause women dresses in revealing clothing,teenage abortions are on the rise.I would rather let my wife and daughters wear the full Niqab,no strange men will perve over them,a womans body is her temple anyway so she needs to protect it by all means.The real reason for France banning the Niqab is for security purposes,they are so afraid of suicide bombings and terror attacks.They afraid because they are allies with America & Britian,they have troops fighting that senseless war in Afghanistan,they are involved in Libya,they afraid cause they know they are wrong by aiding NATO in senseless wars,thats all!!

  • Miss NJP,PTA - 2011-09-22 15:49

    Catholic Nuns are not faceless Yusuf.

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