Muslims in the French city where a woman was fined for driving wearing a burqa complained of being stigmatised by the affair on Sunday as the political repercussions rumbled on.
With the government planning to ban wearing the burqa in public, the fining of the French woman took a political turn when a minister threatened to punish her Muslim husband for offences including polygamy.
“The Muslims of Nantes…are worried by this systematic stigmatisation which goes against the values of the republic,” the collective of Nantes mosques said in a statement.
The association “considers that the stopping of a driver is a judicial procedure and is angry at how such an event has been turned into being all about Islam”.
No, the stopping of a driver is an administrative procedure, not a judicial one. You can always appeal it according to the law.
Is this really “all about Islam“? This woman is married to an alleged poligamyst (something that is forbidden in France, in fact it’s a crime) and she herself is an alleged welfare fraudster, for receiving a social benefit only destined for single mothers.
The woman has challenged the fine as a breach of her human rights.
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government said last week it would push ahead with a ban on wearing a burqa in public, despite a warning from state legal experts that such a law could be unconstitutional.
In this context, the Nantes incident gained political momentum and dominated the news this weekend.
And now for the allegations against the Government:
Criticising Hortefeux’s move Nantes Deputy Mayor Jean-Marc Ayrault (Socialist, ), said the state authorities had known about the polygamy allegations for some time. “Why are they pretending just now to have discovered the situation?” he said.
Well, better late than never, isn’t it? Just because for some time no measures have been taken, doesn’t mean they cannot be taken now.
The state prosecutor in Nantes, Xavier Ronsin, said that so far no charge had been lodged against the husband, but an investigation could be launched if there were grounds to suspect fraud.
As to whether the man could be stripped of his French nationality, a source close to the investigation said that French law allowed this only in the case of serious crimes against the state such as terrorism, not for polygamy.
The Minister should run an investigation on this guy. And nationality should be stripped from people living obviously according to Sharia Law, as this is based on principles actually opposed to Western democracy. You want to be living by Sharia Law, go to a place where it is allowed.
Wearing a beard, dressed in a Pakistani Khamiss, head covered with a skullcap and turban, Lies Hebbadj, the companion of the French converted to Islam, does not go unnoticed in Rezé-les-Nantes, a common Nantes’ suburs. Born in Algiers 34 years ago, he was but a young child when he arrived in the big city in western France, Lies Hebbadj is known for his religious position and his actions as head of the cultural association that he founded to get local officials permission to create a large mosque in the town where he lived and worked for ten years.
Lies Hebbadj is, in effect, a merchant storefront and handles the supply El-butchery Kaouthar, a store brand new and very well kept. But he is also an active member of the Tabligh movement, this movement and ostentatious proselyte whose epicenter is Pakistan, where he has already visited several times in the past. His trips abroad, including London, have also been the subject of ongoing monitoring by the intelligence services.
But what he accuses Brice Hortefeux him of, is primarily related to his private affairs. Lies Hebbadj, who obtained French nationality through a marriage contracted in 1999 with a Nantes-born woman, is suspected of polygamy. He would have four wives informal, married religiously including French converts to Islam. Women who had given him twelve children.
For now, the authorities remain silent on the possible scam to social benefits paid under the single parent allowance to his companions who all wear the niqab and live in a sort of harem divided among three houses within a contiguous pleasant suburban neighborhood Rezé-les-Nantes. Lies Hebbadj has erected around them a great fence to shield the community from being seen by neighbours.
The controversy over the headscarf ban full took a new turn, this Sunday, fueled by the case of the husband of the veiled driver verbalized in Nantes. On Radio J, the boss of UMP deputies, Jean-Francois Cope, began by providing strong support to Brice Hortefeux. The Interior Minister, who intends to deprive of his citizenship a man suspected of polygamy and welfare fraud, was “having reason to set foot in it“, said the deputy mayor of Meaux.
In addition, Cope has reaffirmed its determination to achieve a law generally prohibits the full veil “before the end of the special session in July, as requested by the President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon.
Later, on TV5 Monde, the Immigration Minister Eric Besson was more cautious on the case of alleged polygamist. The minister, who on Friday called Brice Hortefeux to study the matter, said it was “legally required to verify a number of points“, admitting in passing that it would “probably” difficult to prove polygamy.
I repeat what I have copied before: They:
live in a sort of harem divided among three houses within a contiguous pleasant suburban neighborhood Rezé-les-Nantes. Lies Hebbadj has erected around them a great fence to shield the community from being seen by neighbours.
Why a man would live with four women in three houses surrounded by a common fence? He has had sons with all of them. And remember that sex our of wedlock is haram…
Background: Interior Minister wants investigation on niqab’d driver’s husband.