Archive for Face Veil

Vlaams Belang Offers ‘Burqa Bounty’

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2012 by loonwatch

(via. IslamophobiaToday.com)

Vlaams Belang offers ‘burqa bounty’

(Reuters) – Belgian right-wingers have offered to pay a 250 euros ($310) bounty to anyone who reports a veiled woman to police, they said on Tuesday, in the wake of face veil riots in Brussels.

Filip Dewinter, a senior figure within Vlaams Belang, a right-wing party, told Reuters the riots had made police apprehensive about enforcing the burqa ban and that the payment should put pressure on authorities to further enforce it.

“It’s a textile prison for the women who have to live under it,” he said.

It comes after protesters hurled bins and metal barriers at a Brussels police station last week after a Muslim woman was arrested for refusing to remove her face veil, or niqab.

A Brussels police spokesman said he was unaware of the money being offered, but said any officer who sees a woman wearing a niqab would issue a penalty.

“When someone is breaking the law we always have to intervene, demonstrations or no, the niqab is prohibited,” he said.

Women in Belgium risk a maximum fine of 150 euros if they wear a full face veil in public. Belgium and France both banned the wearing of full veils in public last year.

Dewinter said he was not aware how many people had already responded to the offer of a bounty.

A spokeswoman for Belgium’s federal police said the legality of the bounty was a question for the judiciary, but if someone felt insulted by it they could file a complaint with the police.

Police in Belgium are investigating last week’s riots and arrested 13 members of the Islamist group Sharia4Belgium on Sunday, the police spokesman said.

Sharia4Belgium was not immediately available to comment.

(Reporting by Ben Deighton and Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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Niqab: ‘What if my daughter is afraid of her?’

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by loonwatch
Niqabi
Women who wear the niqab usually remove it when no men are present, as was the case at the daycare. Photograph by: PHIL NOBLE REUTERS, Freelance

A woman in Canada admits she once held stereotypical views of modest clothing, largely because her impressions of Muslim women were shaped almost exclusively by the media.  A 2010 Time Magazine article found widespread prejudice against Muslims, though 62% of Americans polled didn’t personally know a single Muslim.

Jenn Hardy’s positive experience with a daycare run by Muslim woman who wears a face veil dramatically transformed her views.

‘What if my daughter is afraid of her?’

I used to glare at niqab-wearing women on the street, but then I opened my heart and mind – to a wonderful daycare provider

By Jenn Hardy, Freelance – Montreal Gazette

Not too long ago, if I saw a woman walking down the street with her face covered by a niqab, I would feel it was my duty to glare. As a non-religious feminist, I had decided that a woman who covers her face is oppressed – that she is uneducated, and that her husband is making her cover up because he’s crazy and/or jealous.

OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the point.

And yet until two months ago, I didn’t even really know a single Muslim. I went to high school in an Ottawa suburb, where I was baptized a Catholic so that I could qualify for schooling in the Catholic school system, which was considered better than the more open public system.

We had one year of religious education that gave us a glimpse of world religions. But I’m pretty sure my education about Islam came mainly from CNN, or Fox. I went to university in a small town in Ontario. I didn’t meet any Muslims there, either.

My real education about Islam came very recently, courtesy of a Montreal daycare.

Last December, I was seeking daycare for my daughter. At only 10 months old, she was still very dependent on her parents, and we wanted to find a place that would nurture her – rock her to sleep if need be, warm up my expressed breast milk and even be open to using our cloth diapers.

I punched our address into the magarderie.ca database, and the first one that came up was a 30-second walk from where we would be moving in a matter of weeks. The daycare provider, Sophie, had outlined her views on discipline, praise, healthy foods and the child-centred approach of Montessori. She was someone I felt I could get along with.

I phoned her and we talked for an hour, laughing and chatting and eventually deciding on a time to meet. She shared a great many of the values that my partner and I do. She was also highly educated, trained as a civil engineer.

Before we said goodbye, she added, “Oh, just so you know, I’m Muslim.”

I said I didn’t care, because I didn’t.

She assured me that her daycare didn’t teach religion. Cool.

But then she told me that when she’s in public, she covers her face.

She said the last time she didn’t warn a family over the phone that she wears the niqab, they walked into the meeting and then walked straight out.

I said I didn’t care, but when we got off the phone, I realized I did care. The first thing I thought was, “What if my daughter is afraid of her?”

My family drove over to meet Sophie, her husband and son.

She came to the door, dressed in black from head to toe.

It was the first time I had been in the same room as a woman wearing the niqab.

I felt nervous. But my daughter didn’t flinch.

The daycare was cozy; most of the toys were made of natural materials. There were lots of books, a reading corner and a birdwatching area. Books on Montessori activities lined the shelves. Nothing was battery-operated; there was no television.

It was perfect.

We spoke for a bit, all together in the room before Sophie’s husband put a hand on my fiancé’s back and they went downstairs to see the other half of the daycare. Once the guys left, Sophie took off the niqab.

I could feel my heart and my mind open at that very moment.

My daughter has been going to this daycare for more than two months now, and we are very happy with the care she is given.

When they are inside with the children, the daycare providers (the majority of whom are Muslim) are mostly dressed in plain clothes – jeans and a sweater, long hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. These women do not cover their faces in the presence of children, women or close family.

My daughter isn’t afraid of any of the women who take care of her, whether they have their faces covered or not. On the contrary, she reaches out to them for a hug every morning. To my daughter, the women who work at the daycare are simply the women who hold her when she’s sad, wipe blueberries off her face, clean her snotty nose and change her cloth diapers.

My daughter isn’t growing up with the same ideas about Muslim women that I did.

I’m glad she’s learning something in daycare.

So am I.

JENN HARDY is a freelance journalist and blogger who challenges mainstream parenting at mamanaturale.ca.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/What+daughter+afraid/6190977/story.html#ixzz1nJoVJAJs

Tango in Paris with a Niqabi

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2011 by loonwatch

A very interesting clip from a group called Red Rag Productions in which a Niqabi dances tango with her partner. It probably is a shocking clip for many to see as they consider Niqabis disenfranchised and inexpressive:

Probably not what you would expect on your morning commute to work!

Red Rag Productions describes itself as,

an independent film production company based in London. Red Rag is dedicated to making high quality documentaries and films on a range of controversial and contemporary issues, in particular those affecting minorities in European societies.

They are currently working on a documentary on the lives of 4 Muslim women in three different European cities and the tensions involved with “a Europe often reluctant to come to terms with women who are asserting their Muslim identities.” Check out there website: Red Rag Productions.

Jeanne Ruby: Retired English Teacher Fined for Attack on Niqabi

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by loonwatch

France has chose over the past year or so to focus extensively on the face-veil and Islam related issues under the cover of integrating the “Muslim immigrant” population.

However such moves have led to an increasing stigmatization of the the Muslim minority and invariably to a wider chasm in society in which bigotry is openly professed and accepted. One such case is the attack on a tourist from the Emirates who was wearing a Niqab in a clothing store by a French retiree named Jeanne Ruby.

AlJazeera Report:

She was eventually given a suspended sentence and charged 1,000 Euros. Essentially a slap on the hand.

From Molly Norris, who we support and is one the Anti-Loons of the year:

 

French Lower House of Parliament Vote to Ban Face Veil

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by loonwatch

The latest development in the face veil ban legislation in France.

French MPs vote to ban Islamic full veil in public

France’s lower house of parliament has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban wearing the Islamic full veil in public.

There were 335 votes for the bill and only one against in the 557-seat National Assembly.

It must now be ratified by the Senate in September to become law.

The ban has strong public support but critics point out that only a tiny minority of French Muslims wear the full veil.

Many of the opposition Socialists, who originally wanted the ban limited only to public buildings, abstained from voting after coming under pressure from feminist supporters of the bill.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has backed the ban as part of a wider debate on French identity but critics say the government is pandering to far-right voters.

After the vote, Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said it was a victory for democracy and for French values.

“Values of freedom against all the oppressions which try to humiliate individuals; values of equality between men and women, against those who push for inequality and injustice.”

The vote is being closely watched in other countries, the BBC’s Christian Fraser reports from the French capital Paris.

Spain and Belgium are debating similar legislation, and with such large-scale immigration in the past 20 or 30 years, identity has become a popular theme across Europe, our correspondent says.

‘Open-faced democracy’

The bill would make it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public.

It envisages fines of 150 euros (£119) for women who break the law and 30,000 euros and a one-year jail term for men who force their wives to wear the burka.

The niqab and burka are widely seen in France as threats to women’s rights and the secular nature of the state.

“Democracy thrives when it is open-faced,” Ms Alliot-Marie told the National Assembly when she presented the bill last week.

She stressed the bill, which makes no reference to Islam or veils, was not aimed at “stigmatising or singling out a religion”.

Berengere Poletti, an MP from Mr Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party, said women in full veils wore “a sign of alienation on their faces” and had to be “liberated”.

Andre Gerin of the Communist opposition compared the veil to “a walking coffin, a muzzle”.

‘Fear of foreigners’

The bill is also seen as a touchstone for the Sarkozy administration’s policy of integration. It is grappling with disaffected immigrant communities as it seeks to prevent a repeat of the mass unrest of 2005 on run-down French housing estates.

PATH TO VEIL BAN

But critics point to government studies showing that many women do not fit the stereotype of marginalised, oppressed women.

There are estimated to be only about 2,000 women wearing the full veil in France though the bill is opposed by many of France’s five million Muslims.

Mohammed Moussaoui, the head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, a government advisory body, has supported taking steps to discourage women from wearing the full veil but has said a legal ban would stigmatise a vulnerable group.

Jean Glavany, a Socialist MP, said he opposed the ban on the grounds that it was “nothing more than the fear of those who are different, who come from abroad, who aren’t like us, who don’t share our values”.

The Council of State, France’s highest administrative body, warned in March that the law could be found unconstitutional.

If the bill passes the Senate in September, it will be sent immediately to France’s Constitutional Council watchdog for a ruling.

Another challenge is possible at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where decisions are binding.

In another development, a French businessman, Rachid Nekkaz, said he would set up a 1m-euro fund to help women pay fines imposed under the new law.

A ban in the street would violate constitutional principles, he argued.

 

Belgian School Fires Teacher for Wearing Veil

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on June 9, 2010 by loonwatch

Belgium beat France to the face veil ban, looks like the fall out is already being felt.

Belgian School Sacks Teacher for Wearing Veil (via Islamophobia-Watch)

A Belgian high school on Tuesday sacked a Muslim maths teacher after she insisted she would continue to wear the burqa while taking classes.

At the start of the academic year authorities at the school in Charleroi, south of Brussels, told the Turkish-born teacher to remove her full-face Islamic veil, which she had been wearing during class for two and a half years. The teacher refused and took her case to court.

In the first instance the Charleroi tribunal backed the school board, citing the religious “neutrality” of the schools serving Belgium’s francophone community. However, in March the appeals court ruled that the school in question came under the jurisdiction of Charleroi, which had not issued rules on the banning of religious insignia. The Muslim teacher therefore returned to school, but the municipality soon afterwards introduced its own ban on the wearing of “all religious or philosophical symbols”.

On Tuesday officials at the school, after auditioning the teacher in presence of the mayor, decided to sack her for her continued refusal to leave her burqa at home, according to a statement issued by the town hall.

AFP, 8 June 2010

 

Spain: Lerida Bans the Face Veil

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by loonwatch

I can foresee the day when every country in Europe imposes a ban on the face veil.

Lerida Bans Face Veil (via. Islamophobia-Watch)

The town council voted to prohibit the “use of the veil and other clothes and accessories which cover the face and prevent identification in buildings and installations of the town hall.”

The vote, by 23 to one with two abstentions, is the first of its kind in Spain, a country where Islamic veils and the body-covering burqas are little in evidence despite a large Muslim population.

The move is aimed at promoting “respect for the dignity of women and values of equality and tolerance,” the town hall said in a statement.

The Islamic veil has sparked intense debate in many European countries, with Belgian deputies last month backing a draft law banning the garment in all public places, including on the streets, in a first for Europe.

France’s cabinet has also approved a draft law to ban the full-face veil from public spaces, opening the way for the text to go before parliament in July.

The issue is a relatively new one for Spain, an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country which has seen the number of immigrants living within its borders soar from around half a million in 1996 to 5.6 million last year, out of a total population of 46 million people.

Moroccans make up one of the largest immigrant communities.