Belgium diplomat arrested for pulling veil from Qatari princess

Senior official says he removed her veil after she asked for directions because ‘I don’t talk to anyone if I can’t see their face'

(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

A senior Belgium diplomat has reportedly been arrested for tearing off the full-face veil of a Qatari princess because it is illegal to wear it in public.

The wealthy princess was with two other women when she approached Jean-Marie Pire on a Brussels street and asked him for directions, the Daily Mail reported.

“I said ‘I don’t talk to anyone if I can’t see their face’,’ Pire, who is the Chief of Protocol for the city of Brussels and is often called upon to welcome foreign dignitaries including from the Middle East, told the court he replied.

“With this reply, I wanted to make it clear that the veil is banned in Belgium.

“Because the person asking me a question didn’t seem to hear me, I lifted her veil. I know I shouldn’t have done that, but what she did wasn’t legal either.”

The woman, who has not been named, said she suffered cuts and bruises after her earrings were violently dislodged, along with her veil.

She made an official complaint to Brussels prosecutors, who may now charge Pire with assault.

She faces a £115 fine and up to seven days in prison for wearing the veil in public.

Belgium banned women from wearing the Muslim full-face veil in December 2012 and the country’s constitutional court rejected appeals, ruling that it did not violate human rights.

Neighbouring France was the first European country to introduce the “burqa ban”, in 2011.

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Posted by: Arwa

The issue is not so much what is allowed for Muslims in the western world and what is allowed for Christians in the Muslim World but rather than this man assaulted an innocent woman on the street...and will most likely get away with it!!
Its interesting how the story is being portrayed as him simply removing her veil when in actual fact he forcibly removed it, injuring her in the process. Had she not been a woman of status, we would probably have never heard this story.
He obviously didn't know who she was and believed he would get away with his very disrespectful intimidating mistreatment.("I don't speak to anyone I can't see") Since when does a burqa ban allow people to take the law into their own hands? If he saw someone speeding on the street, would he attempt to take their car away?
It's worrying that such a man is actually employed to welcome foreign dignitaries. If this is the behavior of a so called professional with experience in dealing with other cultures,I dread to think wh

Posted by: CHALKY6766

I think some of you here commenting need to travel to Europe and the UK as ZZZ has said we are tolerant and we do build many Mosques, I dont think any of you have judging from your comments.

Posted by: Ghazi

If its illegal to dress in a certain way why didnt the police do something about it.

Whereever the Europeans go, they demand that society conforms to their norms, rules and culture. example look at the Gulf.

Posted by: YYQ

Europeans should stop looking for work in the middle east. They come here for tax-free salaries. Should be treated the same way. If you can't respect other religions then don't expect VIP treatment in Muslim countries. I completely agree with RAH's comment.

Posted by: ZZZ

Europe respects other religions a lot.
Look at the number of mosques built in Belgium, and then look at the number of churches built in the UAE. Furthermore, those churches in the UAE are practically hidden inside normal looking buildings. Belgium is allowing mosques to be built in a style that completely doesn't match with the other buildings. And architecture is something a lot more permanent than dresscode.

Posted by: vincent

First I disapprove the behavior of this men, especially because in his position, he is supposed to know the law.
As a citizen, it's your duty to report illegal act you witnessed, but never act by yourself, he should have called the police.
Second, I believe, despite some real issues related to Islamophobia, that if I have to choose, I would prefer to be Muslim in Europe than a Christian in many Muslim country.

For you a non-exhaustive list of countries you can hear about almost daily, where minorities, not only Christians are persecuted or considered as second-class citizen, like in Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq . . . . want more ?
Fine, don't be a minority BY LAW in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Don't be neither a Israeli-Arab in Israel.
What about basic human right in the Middle East ?
Just westerner's propaganda probably like sponsorship, I should say slavery practices, in most of ME countries, or ban of other religion practices than Islam ?

Posted by: QQY

Yes because there are so many more Europeans coming to the Middle East than muslims being welcomed with open arms in the West. And because the West needs muslims so much more than the Middle East needs Europeans.

Posted by: who2

Exactly right RAH.

And if you do not like the rules in those countries, do not visit.


Posted by: chalky6766

"Europeans" crass generalisation alert.

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