Fresh clashes in France have erupted over the much-debated and already-enforced Veil Ban or the Burqa Ban. According to reports, about 20 cars were torched and at least four people detained in a second night of violence that started in the suburbs west of Paris following an incident in which a Muslim woman was asked to remove her veil in public.
As of 11 April 2011, it is illegal to wear a face-covering veil or other mask in public places such as the street, shops, museums, public transportation, and parks. According to the proponents of the ban, the veil is a sign of Islamic oppression and is contradictory to France’s principles of secularism.
Since the argument concerning the ban is quite old, let’s just take a look at what happened over the past few days that ignited the fire of protests in France yet again.
There are two sides of the story; the woman who was stopped and the police who asked the veil to be removed. So, was the incident a violation of French law by the Muslim woman or an act of Islamophobia committed by the police officers?
The side of the story as told by the woman who was stopped, points towards French Islamophobia. According to her, the police officers tried to ‘provoke’ an attack. The woman, identified by the name Hajar, told Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF):
“I am referring to you because I suffered from a police abuse. They wanted to control me because I wear the full-veil. As usual, I complied to this identity checking. I was about to lift my veil when I saw police agents violently pushing my mother.”
Violation Of French Law:
The French police allege that they ‘rightfully’ stopped the woman from wearing the illegal veil in public when her husband tried to strangle an officer who was doing the ticketing. The law enforcement officials also claim that the Muslims initiated not only the attacks but also the violent rioting that has been going on for a couple of days now.
Many people are accusing the Muslim women of not adhering to the laws of the country and creating a fuss out of something that has been legally settled.
i see muslims in france have got the arsehole again. Is there any point ANYWHERE in time when they have been peaceful, even for a day #edl— . (@Snidey_UK) July 22, 2013
So who is to blame for the unrest? The police officers who were allegedly assaulted or the woman who claims to have been abused?
The question for now remains unanswered as the rioting continues but one thing is for sure; the veil ban has proven to be ineffective. The French authorities need to come up with a better plan to maintain peace in the country.