Post image for Activists become first French women fined for wearing veils

Activists become first French women fined for wearing veils

by Jorge Hernandez on September 23, 2011

Hind Ahmas and Najat Nait Ali, two French Muslim women, became the first individuals to be fined by thegovernment for wearing full-face veils in public. The two women sought out the fine, as they plan on challenging the law before the European Court of Human Rights, according to The Independent.
Ahmas and Ali, both in their 30s, went to the town hall in Meaux, an area east of Paris, wearing the niquabs, which cover their faces entirely. Meaux was likely a strategic move, as city's mayor, Jean-Francois Cope, drafted the law banning the niquab and burka. The day was also likely chosen for a reason – they were arrested on Cope's birthday.

"This was a question of principle," Ahmas told the news source. "We sought this conviction deliberately. We will be claiming a victory once the law is abolished."

More than 100 other women in the nation have been ticketed for wearing veils in public, but until now, all had accepted verbal warnings or went to court-mandated lessons on civics in France. Ahmas and Ali were the first two women to accept the fines.

Meanwhile, another French Muslim woman is also speaking out against veils, but in a much different way. Kenza Drider, a woman who advocates for veils and wears one herself, is planning on running in the French presidential race, according to The Detroit Free Press.

Current president Nicolas Sarkozy is behind the veil ban, claiming that the garments are oppressive to woman. Drider also chose Meaux as the location where she declared her candidacy at the age of 32.

Drider's campaign posters, which she has prepared long before the campaign itself, depict her in her veil. Before she can officially run, however, she must receive documented support from 500 French mayors. 

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