by Jsquesnel on October 27, 2014 - 8:28pm

The article “France: pas de niqab à l’Opéra Bastille’’ was published on October 22, 2014 by LaPresse and written by Emilie Cote. This article demonstrates the injustice that women wearing the niqab live with in France. In fact, a law adopted in 2010 obligates women that are wearing a niqab or any other clothes that could hide their face to not show up in public space. This is why, October 3rd, a Muslim women assisting to the Opera La Traviata de Verdi was expelled during the intermission. Some of the singers were not comfortable with the presence of a woman wearing a niqab. The women was expelled and had to pay 200 $ for having breaking the law. However,   a famous millionaire called Rachid Nekkaz payed the 200 $ for her, disagreeing on this law of his country. It was not the first time this man showed his generosity, in fact, he had paid for 994 women victim of this law.

I did not know how to react to this article. It seems to me that it is unacceptable that this kind of law exist in the world. The worst in all that is the fact that justice accepts this law and confirms that it is right and legal. People working behind the legal system, in my view, are supposed to make their possible so that the laws created represent equality and justice.  It should create a more equal world. However, the case of this women does not represent justice. It represents discrimination that is legalized. How is it possible? What does it tells us when we think that we live in a world where human values and principles are dominated by laws that do not promote these? This article is relevant because it tells us that the legal system is not always right. The law France adopted in 2010 is discriminatory against women from a particular religion. This is cultural racism, and the problem is that the judicial system approves it. Laws and the legal system are parts of a democratic society, but the law France adopted is not right and does not respect fundamental laws (freedom, equality etc). 

This article was very good because it described the situation in depth. By giving the example of this Muslim woman who only wanted to assist to a cultural event, I could better understand how frustrating it should be to live there as a Muslim woman. A lot of witnesses are given, which gives credibility. Also, other short stories about Muslim women are given to support the major story of the article. Doing that, it proves that the discrimination Muslim women live is real. Many opinions from important people are given to support the article (such as some famous French artists). However, it would have been better if the article would have provided statistics about Muslim women. For example, it could have been interesting to observe the impact of the law France adopted in 2010 on the population of Muslim women and to compare it with the year 2014. Statistics and numbers missed in this article to support the information.


You can read the article here: http://www.lapresse.ca/international/europe/201410/22/01-4811466-france-pas-de-niqab-a-lopera-bastille.php


You, my friend, have a knack for attracting people’s attention. I am replying to your post because of your amazing title. Although I am not Muslim, I really agree with you that it is absolutely grotesque that a woman is not even allowed to practice her own religion. I know a lot of people say that wearing a niqab is a woman’s way of showing that she is bowing down to males and, hell, they may be right. But the truth is: their opinion does not matter here. What matters is what the woman wants to do with her life. If she believes that wearing a niqab is a sign of devotion to her god, then why do we try to stop her by using a discourse of blaming the victim? Oh, and we also use egalitarian discourse when we try to justify ourselves by saying that we are only doing this so that this woman may feel like she is equal to everybody as if she would suddenly stop being Arab by taking off the niqab. And I mean Arab, not Muslim. If she does not wear the niqab, no one can tell whether or not she is Muslim? True (in most cases). But does that mean they no longer see her skin colour and that they will stop discriminating against her? Or maybe, they will stop seeing a woman and she will be paid 1$ for every dollar a man of the same position as her makes.
Alright, now that you have reflected on the unfairness of the situation, I want to know if you have also reflected on the reason why this unfair situation arose. Do you think there are better solutions to that problem than restricting a woman’s religious faith?