Correction: Defiant Marseille Niqab Wearer: “I do not obey the laws of the Republic”

A story published earlier in the day (31 Jul 2014) under the headline “Marseille Mob Attacks Police, Defiant Niqab Wearer: “I do not obey the laws of the Republic” has been amended and corrected to reflect the timing of the events.
The original BFMTV story was dated 26/07/2012 and not 26/07/2014 meaning the events we reported did not take place on Wednesday July 23 2014 as our story initially said, but two years earlier. The facts of our story and those of the original source remain correct and unchanged even though they are not current and the context of the report is clearly different.
The original report shown below has therefore been amended to reflect these circumstances. We apologise to our readers for the error induced by the date of the original Twitter source which was 31 July 2014. We would stress that our report below recounts an event that occurred exactly as the French media source indicated at the time in 2012.

A French police union has reacted angrily after Marseille prosecutors released a group of suspects who allegedly beat up a police patrol when it tried to check the identity of a young woman wearing a full Islamic veil (or niqab) in the public space in contravention of French law.

Niqab-wearer defies Marseilles police, refuses to obey no-veil law. (Credit screen grab)

Niqab-wearer defies Marseilles police, refuses to obey no-veil law. (Credit screen grab)

The woman, who refused to produce her identity and allegedly punched the police officer who challenged her, then yelled: “I do not obey the laws of the Republic”. A group of some 50 friends and supporters outside the Es-Sunna mosque where the incident occurred in this famous Mediterranean port city, then reportedly intervened. In the ensuing fracas three policemen were slightly injured and four of the group involved, including the veiled woman, were detained at a police station for questioning.

According to BFM TV the unnamed, niqab-wearing 18-year-old was first stopped by the police shortly after midnight on July 23 2012, and asked for identification because she was clearly breaking a 2010 law which bans wearing any clothing in the public space that fully covers the head and face.

But all four were subsequently released after the Marseilles prosecutor declined to prosecute as “a gesture of peace during Ramadan” (the 29-day long Islamic fasting period).

The “peace offering” did not impress the local police force however and David-Olivier Reverdy a spokesman for the Alliance police union in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region told BFMTV: “The decision of the Marseille prosecutor leaves us in complete limbo. How can you be allowed to attack the police and then be released unmolested and without any prosecution? It seems to me that the message given to the population and to the criminal underworld, which I remind you is pretty significant in Marseille, is a message that is absolutely wrong. We would have liked to have had the support of the justice authorities rather than their circumspection … once again, Marseille police feel let down (by the judicial branch). ” (This ends the July 2012 report)

Story: Ken Pottinger

As French News Online subsequently reported here in 2014 the ban on burqas and niqabs is entirely in line with France’s 100-year old commitment to secularism: “supporters of secularism, forgetting the struggle in 1905 to impose the concept against a then powerful and even militant Catholic Church, are surprised and alarmed to find that their calls for secularism to be respected and reinvigorated in France are more and more labelled ‘Islamophobic’,” we wrote on July 6, 2014.

In nationwide local elections in March 2014 the Front National (FN), headed by its charismatic leader Marine le Pen, won the race to control the Town Hall in the most populous northern voting district of Marseilles (the 13th and 14th arrondissements) where its candidate Stéphane Ravier obtained 35.34% of the vote in a municipality of 150,000 inhabitants, and ousted the sitting Socialist.

Overall the ballot saw the hard-line right-of-right FN party win control of 11 City Halls nationwide. Two months later the FN went on to shake the beleaguered Socialist government to the core by winning 26% of the national vote in the election for French deputies to the European (EU) parliament.

More on the burqa in France:

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4 Responses to Correction: Defiant Marseille Niqab Wearer: “I do not obey the laws of the Republic”

  1. Pingback: Marseille Mob Attacks Police, Defiant Niqab Wea...

  2. vellitt July 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Why not be among their own where all are wearing the same. Perhaps they are insecure and need to be noticed by others not like them. What a pity. What pitiful women. How about stay indoors and at home where only the husbands see them. Others do not wish to observe their wombat bondage. Pity them and keep them out of sight. Yes.

  3. Lorraine Carey July 31, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I used to feel that these women should be allowed to wear what they want but then read an article in The Humanist magazine about these being forced to wear this attire by husbands, fathers, and brothers in their culture. I am all for a law against wearing this clothing in public. It helps these women to get out of the Middle Ages.

  4. Pingback: The French Myth of Secularism – Can Muslims be Fully Secular and also French? | FrenchNewsOnline

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