An anti-Islamization move by the French government? Not quite!
Kolkata-based English daily The Statesman reports that the Government of France has decided to implement its Burqa-Ban Law, passed in May 2010, from April 11, 2011. The Government has issued a circular on April 9, 2011, empowering the French police to intercept Muslim women wearing the full-face veil in public, and to threaten them with fines if they refuse to remove the head-cover.
France is home to Europe's largest Muslim population (estimated 4 to 6 million). Though many European countries are trying to ban the burqa, France will be the first to take the risk of stirring social tensions and anger of Muslims, including possible violent protests, by putting the ban into practice. Many apprehend that this will weaken the relation between the Government and the minority Muslim population; others consider it to be a political move by President Nicolas Sarkozy for winning back votes from a resurgent Far Right groups by stigmatizing Islam.
According to a rough estimate by French officials, only around 2,000 Muslim women wear full-face veil, called a niqab or a burqa. Most critics are skeptical about the outcome of the law. They are worried that the law may be hard to enforce, since the police officers will not be allowed to remove the head-coverings. The supporters of the law, who describe burqa as a moving prison, are trying to defend it as a measure not designed to malign Islam, but to support a woman's right to walk unveiled in public.
The law empowers police officers to take the veiled women to the police station and to persuade them not to wear it, and can threaten them with fines. A woman, who repeatedly ignores the warning by appearing in public veiled, can be fined 216 dollars. Much more severe penalties are reserved for those found guilty of forcing others to wear veils rough threats and violence. This part of the law clearly targets fathers, husbands or religious leaders, who force women to wear face-veils. Penalties for such offenders are a fine of up to 30,000 Euros and a year in prison.
The moves to impose the ban started in June 2009 when an Opposition Communist lawmaker demanded a parliamentary inquiry into the wearing of full-face veils amongst French Muslims. Mr Sarkozy soon weighed in, declaring that the full-face veil was “not welcome” in France, branding it a symbol of “servitude” and not of religious observance.
Grande Mosquee de Marseille
Notre Dame de la Garde
Conseil Français du Culte Musulman (or CFCM), the main representative body for Muslims in France, supported the Government’s decision, arguing that insisting upon a niqab or a burqa was an “extremist” reading of the Quran and not a “religious obligation”. But other groups claimed the government had seized on an issue that touches a tiny minority and used it to stigmatize the entire Muslim community, which has been accused of failing to integrate into French life. Foreign extremist Islamic groups, including Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden, have condemned the Government’s move and said that by implementing the burqa-ban law, France is going into war with Islam, and inviting attacks.
France Prepares to Ban Burqa while Construction of Nation’s Biggest Mosque is underway
The burqa ban law may mislead the reader into thinking that the French Government are not appeasing Muslims and stepping up efforts against the Islamization of France. In fact, as the burqa ban comes into effect, the nation's largest mosque, the €22 million Grand Mosque of Marseille, is being built, which is supported by local and national politicians. When completed, it will rival the Notre Dame de la Garde, the Roman Catholic basilica that has stood on the south side for past150 years. The burqa ban, therefore, may indeed be simply a move to win back supporters from the resurging right-wing parties. And Muslim religious leaders are going with the government, because losing power to the right-wingers would be detrimental to their long-term plan for the Islamization of France.
French Prime Minister inaugurates Al Ahsan Mosque
When the French Government was attempting to implement the burqa-ban, the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon inaugurated the grand Al Ahsan Mosque in Paris. “It is the first time in the French history since 1958 that a prime minister of this rigid secular country has inaugurated a religious institution”, says a political analyst. The mosque in a Paris suburb having some 28,000 Muslim residents will hold about 2,500 worshippers, and an Islamic school within the mosque will teach the Koran to students. “Those who are familiar with Quran may know what kind of education these students will receive”, says Europe News.
In an article France: Most Islam Friendly Kafir Country, author Ali Khalaf recently enumerated the French Government's mindless concession to Muslims that include the Government's ban on serving pork and wine in ceremonial feasts for the non-Muslims living in a Muslim-dominated locality, a French court's dissolution of a Muslim marriage because the wife was not a virgin, paying for surgical operation for reconstructing the virginity of unmarried Muslim girls, and turning blind eye to Muslims' occupation of streets in Paris for congregational prayers. The French governments even honored an American Muslim cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal by feting him as an honorary citizen of France and naming a street after him. Mumia Abu-Jamal (b. 1954) is an American Black Muslim, who was found guilty of murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner as was sentenced to death on December 9, 1981. Before his arrest, he was an activist, radio journalist, and part-time cab driver. He was a member of the Black Panther Party until October 1970.
The presentation narrated above shows that France's ban of the full-face veil in public has little to do with stopping the Islamization of Europe. Instead, it appears to be a political move by the government to stay in power, while engaging in appeasement of Muslims and promoting Islamization of France in various forms. Such greed for power of the present genre of French politicians may lead to surrender of the freedom their forefathers had earned through bloodshed during French Revolution in 1789–99.