Tuesday 9 February 2010

French Sisters Fighting to Defend the Veil

The Guardian (31 January 2010) covers a protest in France against moves to ban the niqab. The article includes the views of some of the young women affected by the ban and others who do not wear niqab but defend the right to do so.

"Amina, who is studying for a degree in Arabic at the university of Paris, is in the eye of a storm that in recent months has swept through France and left resentment in its wake.

"I choose to wear this. Not every day, just now and again. But when I do wear it, it is entirely of my own volition. No one is forcing me," she says, standing on a busy street corner in the heavily Muslim northern district of Barb├Ęs. "If they make us take it off, they'll be taking a part of us. I'd rather die than let them do it."

But many people believe that, if France is to make good on its promises to be the upholder of freedom and human rights, it would do better to fix the big issues facing Muslims – discrimination, urban planning and unemployment – than to engage in a theoretical debate about their place in the nation."

You can read the whole article here.

Demonstrators against the French ban on religious dress in state schools, enacted in 2004. Photograph: Laurent Rebours/AP

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