Friday, February 19, 2010

Piling on Muslims

At the risk of sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, I would like to raise my voice against the denial of French citizenship to a man accused of forcing his wife to wear a veil. According to The New York Times and Le Monde, Prime Minister François Fillon announced on Feb. 3 that he would sign a decree denying French nationality to the man.

We don't know the man's name nor the evidence that he forced his wife to wear a veil. Nor do we know under what law it is illegal to do so. Most importantly, we don't know how the man allegedly forced his wife to wear a veil.

Just think. How does one person force another person to wear something? Did he tie her down and put it on her? Did he watch her every moment to make sure she didn't take it off? Did he beat her and terrorize her?

If the alleged forcing involved assault it is some kind of crime in France, no? Why wasn't he arrested? Why wasn't he deported? How come he is allowed to walk freely and merely denied the "honor" of a French passport?

And don't they have shelters for battered women in France to which she could have fled and been helped to remake her life without the abusive husband?

Given the absence of evidence, why does this allegation warrant a prejudicial, but merely administrative, government action? Why isn't the citizenry of the country that gave us the cry of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" rising up in outrage against an arbitrary government that denies citizen to a man without showing legal cause?

Who's next? Jews for wearing yarmulkes? Americans for wearing shorts in summer? Peruvians for wearing ponchos?

All I see here is a Muslim couple in which the woman apparently happens to wear a veil.


Anonymous said...

Notre devise c'est : "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité."

Cecilieaux said...


Anonymous said...

There is a fuller account here: in which it is claimed that France is proposing to deny citizenship to people showing evidence of "extremism" and who were not committed to "integration".
Given rising levels of air pollution, I am unclear why "freedom to go about with her face uncovered" is such a big deal; indigenous French women frequently cover their faces with cosmetics without arousing negative comment, and natives of other countries frequently now wear surgical masks to ward off infection. Motor-cyclists often wear balaclava helmets without evoking such hostility. European and American women used to wear veils into the 20th C to protect their faces from dust while motoring or horse-riding. Istm that it is wearing a distinctively "foreign" style of dress which is being criticised here.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

France has long been a country notably hostile to bad fashion. Vive la France!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You're approving comments now? Cecil, have you been threatened?

Cecilieaux said...

Threatened only by spammers' poor taste.