French man ripped veil from Muslim woman's face

Nantes man given five-month suspended sentence after what he described as attempt to uphold law

(For illustrative purposes).

(For illustrative purposes).

A French man has been given a five-month suspended prison sentence for tearing a Muslim women’s veil from her face in the city of Nantes.

The 30-year old man carried out the attack at a fairground last September and claimed that he was trying to enforce a French law banning women from wearing the niqab or face-covering veils in public.

Pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated assault, the man was given his sentence by a criminal court which said that “ordinary citizens are not entitled to take the law into their own hands”.

Hi was also ordered to pay compensation to his victim and was convicted of giving police a false identity.

Under French law women found guilty of wearing face coverings in public can be fined €150 (US$190) or forced to take part in citizenship training. The man said he was a firm believer in the law which was brought in by former President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010 and has been in force since 2011. However, the judge said he had acted like a “vigilante” and carried out the attack because he was prejudiced against the Islamic faith.

Last year Muslim teenager Louis-Marie Suisse received a two-month prison sentence for biting a policewoman who had arrested her for wearing a veil.

Sarkozy has defended the ban, describing Muslim veils as “an affront to the nation’s values of dignity and equality”, and declaring that they oppress women and are “not welcome” in France. He argued that they could be used by criminals to hide their identities.

Human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the controversial legislation as breaching French citizens’ right to freedom of expression.

According to French government estimates there were between 5m and 6m Muslims in the country in 2010.

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Posted by: Nemo

I love reading these recurring comments saying "when in Rome, do as Romans do" or "French are French" etc. whenever there are similar news..

Thank god that you guys were not around when people were fighting against the apartheid regime in South Africa or the nazi regime in Germany, because hey, you know, "When in Rome do as Romans do", "South Africans do not allow the black people to ride in the same bus as whites, we should respect that"!

In case you haven't heard, basic human rights cannot be approached in this manner. This is not about driving on a certain side of the road or the fine amount for littering...

Posted by: abusidra

The combined rate of crimes in Saudia in a year perhaps equals a week of crime in just NY. You can check the statistics. The respect women enjoys in our culture is their right and not a favor. Muslims believe mother is 3 times more important than father and heaven lies beneath her feet. Prophet Muhamad (pbuh) instructed, the women to be treated kindly and also said the best amongst us is the ones who are best to their wives. The one who brings up daughters in a nice way and get them married, screens himself from hellfire. So dear, we don't dictate or persuade them to wear revealing dress even in offices, whereas the gentlemen comes fully dressed, the barbies are blonde and busty, whereas the spiderman and batman are covered? Who dictates this to small children to dress like they dress when they growup, to satisfy whom and quench the thirst of whose eyes in the name of freedom, they made women an object free from everything. shame shame. Be sincere to yourself, don't be blind with bias.

Posted by: john

@abusidra you are living in the stone ages. In a few generations, even KSA will allow women to dress as they please. It's called progress. Better get used to it...

Posted by: mumeen

Very well said Abusidra. Making their daughters, wives, sisters and mothers naked in front of the whole world is called the 'freedom', 'women's emancipation', etc., by the atheist world's men. Having women behind veil and behind doors is the best dignity a man can have of his manhood, and fatherhood, whether they accept it or not.

Posted by: NKYC

I do not approve of what happened and personally I believe people should not take the law into their hands.
BUT like most people, the French have their own ways and culture which make them "French". If its not acceptable for the French that people in France do not cover their faces(a very reasonable thing)-that should be respected and followed by everyone there-else get out of there . If she doesnt like the French ways WHY is she hanging around there? Dont try to "correct" them into being a "Saudi Arabia" or "Afghanistan"-the perfect countries on earth. The majority of people in this world wishes to see them as French and their great country as France. If they think if something is wrong with them they know to correct it and they will. Dont teach them your ways---which you think are the only correct and perfect ways.

Posted by: Suresh

Hisham, I think you exaggerate when you say "gang raping is normal " in India. Please do not tar the whole country with this brush. Yes there are many cases of rape and they are horrible, but talk to any one who has been to India and they will tell you that on the whole Indians are friendly, hospitable and take care of visitors and tourists.

India has a population of 1.2 Billion people. That is 400 times the population of Dubai. So each rape in Dubai makes it the equivalent of 400 rapes in India. And to think that India has a free press where everything is reported for the world t see.

Tens of thousands of expat expat workers in UAE often do not get their salaries on time, and hundreds of them have commit suicide as a result. Their employers often do not even get a fine , let alone going to jail. And yet there are thousand in jail for a bounced cheque, which may or may not have been their fault. Taxi drivers in UAE don't get a single day off in the month. Is this nice ?

Posted by: Hisham

What I think is before anyone from a country where gang raping women is normal -and which also happens to regularly win the great prize for "worst country in the world for women" (yes, even above Afghanistan and Somalia)- makes a remark about women's rights, there should be quite a list of other things to address first... I also think the main issue here should be a woman's right to choose her wardrobe in a "free country" and a woman's right not to be attacked by a man! The latter will happen sometimes, but if 5 months suspended jail time is the only answer to that then we might as well move France up a few places on that aforementioned list.

Posted by: Anders

I don't approve the French man's action to take the law in his own hands. However, when in Rome do as the Romans do. If you want to travel to the Middle East, there are certain guidelines to be respected - and this should be the case in Europe.

Posted by: procan

Citizens arrest are legal,as the police cannot be every all the time .In power the people.

Posted by: nimby

and manners and etiquette show themselves in actions, deeds and responses Abu sidra.

Look forward to seeing that one day from you.

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