In 2010, France enacted a ban on the wearing of burqas in public places, which seemed at the time to be a fine statement of western openness and associated freedom against misogynous Islam. However, the actual enforcement of the law was not always robust, since the resulting violence, as happened last summer in Marseille, made authorities cautious.
So the recent burqa riot in the suburban community of Trappes is not without precedent, but at least the authorities are still trying to enforce the law and resist the Muslim mob.[See video.]
The rioting started when a police officer ticketed a burqa and her husband then tried to strangle the officer. Many Muslims do not think that they are required to follow western laws. Why would any sane country admit immigrants with that sort of supremacist attitude?
Plus, at least one of the rioters is looking toward the future, remarking, “In 20 years, Trappes will be Chechnya.”
5 injured in clashes at burka riot outside Paris, Associated Press, July 20, 2013
Violence erupts after man tries to strangle policeman who ticketed his wife for wearing the Muslim veil
TRAPPES, France (AP) — About 250 people hurling projectiles clashed with police firing tear gas west of Paris, in apparent protest over enforcement of France’s ban on Islamic face veils. Five people were injured and six detained in the violence, authorities said Saturday.
The interior minister urged calm and dialogue, insisting on both the need for public order and respect for France’s Muslims. The incident in the town of Trappes on Friday night reflected sporadic tensions between police upholding France’s strict policies of secularism and those who accuse authorities of discriminating against France’s No. 2 religion.
A few garbage dumpsters in the area were torched and a bus shelter shattered in the Trappes unrest. Spent tear gas capsules lay on the road Saturday near the police station at the center of the violence.
A 14-year-old boy suffered a serious eye injury in the violence, from a projectile of unknown provenance, Prosecutor Vincent Lesclous told reporters. Four police officers were injured and six people were detained in the violence, said an official with the regional police administration.
The violence came after a gathering of about 200-250 people to protest the arrest of a man whose wife was ticketed Thursday for wearing a face veil. The husband tried to strangle an officer who was doing the ticketing, the prosecutor said.
France has barred face veils since 2011. Proponents of the ban — which enjoyed wide public support across the political spectrum — argue the veil oppresses women and contradicts France’s principles of secularism, which are enshrined in the constitution. In addition to small fines or citizenship classes for women wearing veils, the law includes a hefty 30,000 euro ($39,370) fine for anyone who forces a woman to wear one.
The law affects only a very small proportion of France’s millions of Muslims who wear the niqab, with a slit for the eyes, or the burqa, with a mesh screen for the eyes. But some Muslim groups argue the law stigmatizes moderate Muslims, too. France also bans headscarves in schools and public buildings.
The Collective Against Islamophobia in France urged Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who recently joined Muslim leaders in a fast-breaking sundown feast for holy month of Ramadan, to crack down on insults and attacks against Muslims.
Valls urged calm after the Trappes violence, and pledged to stand against “all those who attack Muslim buildings or our compatriots of Muslim faith.”
But he also came down firmly against those who attack police.
“There is no valid reason for the violence seen in Trappes,” he told reporters in the southern city of Marseille, which has seen a wave of urban unrest. “The law should be applied, and applies to everyone.”
The CCIF said in a statement that it was contacted by the veiled woman ticketed in Trappes on Thursday, and that she said the police officer yanked her by the veil and pushed her mother.
Police argue they are doing their jobs and that veiled women are breaking a well-known law.
Trappes is deploying extra riot police Saturday night to try to head off any new violence.
Trappes was among many towns around France that saw rioting in 2005 by disillusioned youth in neglected housing projects, many with origins in former French colonies in North and West Africa.
Valls acknowledged the “difficulty our fellow citizens have living in these working class neighborhoods, especially young people. What they need is jobs, hope, training.”
“Only in dialogue can we find the solutions to the problems of our society, of joblessness, the sentiment of discrimination and exclusion,” he urged.
“Violence leads to nothing.”