Burqa in Paris
by Phyllis Chesler
Earlier today, the French debate over the Islamic Veil again turned ugly, this time in Paris. Pro-burqa supporters "violently thwarted the efforts" of a French Muslim feminist group, "Ni Putes Ni Soumises" (Neither whores nor doormats), which had planned a public debate on the subject.
More than one hundred people (feminists, Islamists, women, lawmakers) came to attend the debate in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris. The debate was "allegedly disrupted by members of Sheikh Yassin, a pro-Palestinian group, forcing the organizers to call for police intervention, as insults turned into fistfights. The rioters had already fled upon the arrival of the police." This successful use of violence to close down an open discussion led Sihem Habchi, the President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises to say: "I think those who had doubts before tonight's debate understood, as they left (the meeting), the need for a law that says enough to those who exploit Islam and reduce women to silence."
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