Stop the burqa and the veil, symbols of women's submission and the Islamist offensive

A petition addressed to the President of the French Republic, the deputies and senators
Stop the burqa and the veil, symbols of women’s submission and the Islamist offensive
Let us join our voices to put an end to the invasion of public space
by the Islamic veils and scarves.
We, the instigators of the present petition, welcome the initiative
taken by Communist deputy André Gérin, that led to a parliamentary
fact-finding commission on « full veil on the national territory, »
expected to report at the end of November.
As militants for a law against religious symbols at school in 2004, we
had already asked, in October 2007, for a ban on the burqa and veil or
scarf at university and for minors.
The time has come to put an end to the political and religious
offensive that seeks to impose its presence, more and more visibly, to
the whole of French society, and therein find legitimacy. Its leaders
demand, every day, step by step, « reasonable accommodations » and
overtly campaign for religious law (shariah) to be substituted, for
Muslims, to the laws of the Republic. This offensive also occurs in
many European countries.
To yield would be an insult to the courage and refusal of the veil,
symbol of their mothers’ submission, by the majority of our fellow
citizens come from across the Mediterranean, who know its destructive
effects, in a mixed social life.
The law must give its limits to the Islamic scarf or veil, full or not
the symbolic meaning is the same, and is incompatible with the values
of equality and secularity, the fundamentals of the Republican public
order in France.
European jurisprudence upholds France
In its rulings, the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) upheld all
states involved in complaints resulting from banning the Islamic veil.
The reasons given are based on the defense of public order, and
recognize that ostensible religious signs in public space do not
respect the opinions and freedoms of others.
Why a new law?
Twenty years ago the first “veil case” arose in a public school in
Creil. It took a decade of exhausting discussions with schoolgirls,
whether militant or manipulated, before it became clear -that only a
law could put an end to these repeated provocations.
Today we can but record the proliferation of Islamic scarves and veils
in the public space:
– A multiplication in many French cities of full veils, a dress that
shocked the opinion when it was worn in Afghanistan, meaning that a
woman could only appear in the public space as a shadow.
– A spectacular progression of the number of veils or headscarves in our
country. Even young girls take to wearing it more and more frequently.
It is authorized in public universities, and in private schools.
– A multiplication of “veil cases” in the professional or leisure
domains. Health care places, firm managers, bed-and-breakfast owners
(in the case of Fanny Truchelut), driving schools, gymnasiums, more
and more frequently face provocations. They are sometimes prosecuted
on behalf of Islamist associations, often supported by the MRAP, LHR
and HALDE.
– Female candidates run for elections and, as in Echirolles, make a
point to impose the veil during their mandate. Shall we soon see, as
in Belgium, veiled representatives of the Republic?
– This summer in a Seine-et-Marne swimming pool a new form of
provocation appeared with the “burkini”; a complaint was lodged
against the manager who asked the activist to leave the premises.
A sexist and racist mark
The first hearings of feminist organisations by the parliamentary
commission, on July 15 th 2009, emphasised that the message conveyed
by the veil is totally opposed to gender equality and also is a form
of rejection of a shared way of life by masking the face, the head or
the hands; it means a ban on loving or marrying the person of one’s
choice, whatever their gender, religion or origins. Wearing the veil
signifies: “I am not like you and I don’t want to be like you.”
Will this be an unenforceable law?
Unlike it is sometime thought, the choice of clothing is not a legally
protected freedom.For instance, the notion of suitable appearance has
already been ruled in our country: “bermuda” ruling at work, ban
against bare chests or bathing suits in towns or resorts.
Solidarity is a duty, here and elsewhere>
Our fellow citizens, particularly those from countries where religion
dictates its laws, need the Republic, need secularity and egalitarian
principles to escape the religious fundamentalists who want to
imprison them in a communautaristic logic.
While women in many countries are resisting the veil, it is time to
put an end, on our territory, to that symbol of submission.
Send a clear signal to the parliamentary commission
Lacordaire wrote in the 19^th century: “Regarding the powerful and the
weak, freedom oppresses and law emancipates.”
We set up this petition to encourage our elected representatives to
take the full measure of this serious situation, and legislate
Anne Zelensky, president of the League of Women’s Rights
Annie Sugier, president of the League of International Women’s Right
Pierre Cassen, founder of Riposte Laïque
To sign up the petition go to the bottom of this page
and fill up the following form: Nom (family name) ; Prénom (first name) ; Statut (status or occupation+country), Votre adresse email (your email necessary to confirm your signature), Valider (send)
You may use this text as you like as long as you indicate its origin:
Riposte Laïque.