Friday, April 23, 2010

Driver Wearing Islamic Face Veil Fined In France

This was not merely a hijab, but a niqab, which covers the entire face except for the eyes:

A woman driver wearing an Islamic face veil has been fined by French police for not having a clear field of vision. The fine was small, but it garnered big attention Friday and may illustrate what is to come as the president pushes to outlaw the veils nationwide.

Traffic police in the western city of Nantes fined the 31-year-old woman euro22 ($29) in early April, her lawyer said. The fine was based on a rule that says drivers should have freedom of movement and a sufficient field of vision, lawyer Jean-Michel Pollono said.

Pollono said Friday that he is protesting the decision, saying a veil is no different from a motorcycle helmet in terms of hindrance to vision.

The driver gave a news conference Friday—while wearing the niqab veil, which covers the entire face except for the eyes—and expressed "a feeling of injustice" over the incident.

No different than a motorcycle helmet!??!?

This case was apparently a big deal in France and provoked the usual Muslim seethe fest, especially with Belgium examining banning veils as well. The French parliament, if you remember had already banned Muslim headscarves and other "ostentatious" religious symbols from classrooms back in 2004.

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