On October 8th, France’s Constitutional Council approved the “Burqa Ban” – a law that bans burqas, niqābs, full body and face coverings in public spaces. However, the law will not apply to places of worship. The new law will impose a fine of approximately $190 and/or a citizenship course for a woman wearing a niqāb or a burqa. Additionally, any person forcing a woman to wear a full-face veil will face a year in prison or a $19,000 fine.
I think this new law is pretty ridiculous, and xenophobic to say the least. We don’t need laws that control women’s bodies and women’s choices. I realise some may claim that not all women choose to wear a veil and that it’s forced upon them. This is probably true in some circumstances, but I bet there’s a lot more women that wear it by choice – to honour their culture, religion or traditions. Either way, I don’t think the government belongs in any discussions about what we wear.
In response to the new law, two anonymous French students recently geared up in niqābs and booty shorts and strutted through the streets of Paris. They stopped at several government ministry buildings to protest the Burqa Ban.
The women, one of whom is Muslim, call themselves Niqabitches. “We were not looking to attack or degrade the image of Muslim fundamentalists – each to their own – but rather to question politicians who voted for this law that we consider clearly unconstitutional," they said. "We want to de-dramatise the situation."