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Muslim women in headscarves ‘an attack on French culture’ says French politician

Muslim women in headscarves ‘an attack on French culture’ says French politician

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday August 20 2014

The Independent and the Daily Mail report on French MEP and former minister, Nadine Morano, who triggered a storm after posting a picture on her Twitter feed and Facebook page of a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf, a long sleeved tunic and trousers on a French beach resort alongside an image of the famous French celebrity Brigitte Bardot wearing a bikini.

Morano, a member of the centre-right party Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) and a supporter of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, wrote a message alongside the images complaining “when one sees this scene, one cannot but help feel an attack on our culture that goes against our sexual equality”.

Morano added “[The Muslim woman’s husband] got into his swimming trunks, showing off his well-made body, while she sat quietly on the sand dressed from head to toe.

“He went off alone towards the sea. Delighted to be having a swim, he waved to his submissive companion as she sat entirely surrounded by people in swimsuits.

“He had the right to strip off and swim, she didn’t. To see that in the country which invented human rights was exasperating!

“When you choose to come to a country of secular laws like France, you have an obligation to respect our culture and the liberty of women. Or you go somewhere else.”

In addition, during a radio interview, Morano insisted that she was making an argument for women’s rights rather than against Islam. She proclaimed “We have to help these submissive women.

“There is no point in pulling a veil over our own faces. No religion has the right to impede the progress which has been so dearly won in France.”

It is ironic that Morano, who seems to hold the French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens in high esteem does not seem to find her comments contradictory to the declaration. The declaration emphasises that “Liberty consists in the ability to do whatever does not harm another”.

Liberal democracies have adopted this notion in what is termed the ‘harm principle’. Something that Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, highlighted in his liberal defence of women to wear the burqa or niqab.

Murano’s comments triggered a heated debate on social media networks and between politicians.

The deputy president of the far right National Front took advantage of the incident by urging a ban on ‘overt religious symbols’ in public. This in addition to the ban on the burqa in public places in France and a ban on the wearing of ‘conspicuous religious symbols’ in French schools.

The former leader of the Socialist Party, Harlem Désir, agreed that Morano “had a point”.

In contrast, another former centre-right minister, Valérie Pécresse, disapproved of Morano’s definition of “freedom” by stating “As long as they’re not breaking the law, people should be allowed to wear whatever they want.”

A Socialist, Jean-Marc Germain, said the incident illustrated “the worst of the right-wing… who reject others, who believes that you are not a proper French person if you are Muslim.”

Similarly, a Communist politician, Ian Brossat, expressed that “xenophobia never goes on holiday, even on the beach”.

This is not the first time that politicians in France have voiced Islamophobic views. In 2012, the President of the UMP, Jean Francois Cope, tweeted that children in neighbourhoods in France were having their pain au chocolat ‘snatched’ from them by ‘Muslim thugs’ who insisted there must be “no eating in Ramadan”. 


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