Niqabs and hot pants: French women protest the burqa ban
Two women decided to take their anger to the streets this week in protest of France's burqa ban. They approached the protest in perfect French fashion: reinterpreting the way a niqab is traditionally worn. The anonymous women paired the face veil with hot pants and heels.
a jaunty French tune a Beastie Boys' song, the video shows two women touring the city, posing for photographs and stopping by government offices. (Editorial note: the original video, which can be viewed here, does not have a jaunty French tune. That came courtesy of the Telegraph. The creators of the video had a more explicit message in their music choice, one with a few more expletives than our Web site can host.)
On the news Web site, rue89, the women, political science and communication students in their 20s, wrote, "To put a simple burka on would have been too simple. So we asked ourselves: 'how would the authorities react when faced with women wearing a burka and mini-shorts?'" One of the women is Muslim, the Telegraph reports.
Muslim author Sonia Jabbar writes the protest targets those who "object to the tops while delighting in the bottoms."
Much of the debate in France over the law revolves around the question of a Muslim woman's choice to wear a niqab. French President Nicolas Sarkozy's framed the debate over the law as protecting Muslim women from being forced to wear full-face veils. However, many Muslim women argue that wearing the niqab is a choice they make as part of their religious practice.
The Post's Zehra Rizavi points out the irony in this argument: "Assuming that all women who wear the burka or the niqab are wearing it under duress, it doesn't follow that men, like the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, ought to command a woman not to wear it."
Last week, the Post's On Faith blog asked "What does a Muslim woman look like?"
"I find a catholic nun's habit more intimidating there is no difference between a hijab and a habit worn by a nun, both are similar and symbols of religion," wrote one reader.
What do you think? What do you make of the protest?
(Warning: there is some PG-13 language used in the video and very long, French legs make an appearance.)
| October 4, 2010; 12:27 PM ET
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