France: 'It's the ban that's restrictive, not the burqa'

France: 'It's the ban that's restrictive, not the burqa'

In the year since the veil ban was introduced in France, 299 women were fined for wearing the full veil.

Via DW:
In the Parisian suburbs, Mabrouka is experiencing that very sense of exclusion. But she does not conform to the stereotype of a downtrodden woman. Born in Lyon to Tunisian parents, she works part-time as a private tutor, and continues to visit her students in their nearby homes. She is highly educated, having studied Arabic and history at university, and she's also qualified to teach French as a foreign language.

She started wearing the niqab seven years ago as a symbol of her devotion to God. She says her husband had nothing to do with her choice, as she was already wearing it when she met him. Under the law, anyone forcing a woman to wear a full veil can be fined up to 30,000 euros, but so far no one has been punished for that offence.

Mabrouka admits that it may seem bizarre to subject herself to such a restrictive life for a piece of cloth, but she claims it's French society, not her religion, that is hampering her freedom. After a year of living under the new law, she's even thinking about leaving the country in which she was born.


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