French women protest burqa ban by wearing niqab, hot pants

Last Updated: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 14:38

London: In protest of the recent law banning the burqa in France, two female students took to the streets of Paris wearing a niqab, and mini-shorts, showing their long bare legs.

The two, who call themselves as the “Niqabitches”, were filmed strolling in black high heels past prime ministerial offices and various government ministries with the black veil covering their faces, and only their eyes visible.

Passers-by were left bemused by the pair and even asked to take their photographs.

The two women were also seen in the film approaching the entrance to the Ministry of Immigration and national identity, only to be told by a policeman to go elsewhere.

The anonymous duo, political science and communication students in their twenties, have in an opinion piece published on the news website, rue89, said the film was a tongue-in-cheek way of criticising France’s niqab ban.

The Senate passed the law last month and is due to go into force early next year.

“To put a simple burqa on would have been too simple. So we asked ourselves: ‘how would the authorities react when faced with women wearing a burqa and mini-shorts?” the Telegraph quoted the students, one of whom is a Muslim, as asking.

“We were not looking to attack or degrade the image of Muslim fundamentalists – each to their own – but rather to question politicians who voted for this law that we consider clearly unconstitutional.”

“To dictate what we wear appears to have become the role of the State (as if they didn’t have other fish to fry),” they added.

The film had been viewed 71,000 times on rue89 and a few hundred times on YouTube, and French websites have predicted it would become an Internet sensation.

Once the law is in force, a woman who chooses to defy the ban will receive a fine of EUR 150 or a course of citizenship lessons, while a man who forces a woman to go veiled will be fined EUR 30,000 and serve a jail term.

ANI



First Published: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 14:38

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