France: Family refused residence because of burqa

France: Family refused residence because of burqa

AN ANTI-discrimination group has said a housing body's refusal to lodge a family because the mother wore a burqa is clear discrimination.

According to newspaper le Canard Enchaîné the husband, wife and three children were refused access to social housing by the housing association at Vénissieux because the mother "wears the burqa, which characterises a religious practice incompatible with the essential values of the French community and the principals of equality between the sexes."

The reason was made in a letter outlining the decision to the local prefecture.

It reflects a ruling by the Conseil d'Etat which in July 2008 refused French nationality to a Moroccan woman who wore a burqa.

A legal advisor at the anti-discrimination body La Halde – the Haute autorité de lutte contre les discriminations told the website 20 Minutes that the case was the legal definition of discrimination.

The law defines discrimination as the "less favourable treatment of one person compared to another in a similar situation because of reasons banned by the law."

Among the banned reasons include religious practice, physical appearance, racial origin, political opinions and sexual orientation.

However, La Halde can only pursue the case if the victim files a complaint with them and the organisation has yet to be contacted.


Source: The Connexion (English)

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