French Burqa Debate PARIS – The French Senate has voted overwhelmingly for a bill banning the burqa-style Islamic veil everywhere from post offices to streets, in a final step toward a making it law.
Muslims believe the latest legislation is one more blow to France's second religion, and risks raising the level of Islamophobia in a country where mosques, like synagogues, are sporadic targets of hate. Some women have vowed to wear a full-face veil despite the law.
The proposed law was passed overwhelmingly by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, on July 13. The expected green light from the Senate would make it definitive once the president signs off on it — barring amendments and an eventual legal challenge.
The measure would outlaw face-covering veils in streets, including those worn by tourists from the Middle East and elsewhere. It is aimed at ensuring gender equality, women's dignity and security, as well as upholding France's secular values — and its way of life.Kenza Drider, however, says she'll flirt with arrest to wear her veil as she pleases.
"It is a law that is unlawful," said Drider, a mother of four from Avignon, in southern France. "It is ... against individual liberty, freedom of religion, liberty of conscience, she said. The bill calls for euro150 ($185) for any woman caught covering her face, or both. It also carries stiff penalties for anyone such as husbands or brothers convicted of forcing the veil on a woman. The euro30,000 ($38,400) fine and year in prison are doubled if the victim is a minor. more from this osurce....
ON THE OTHER END OF THE FRENCH SPECTRUM THE FRENCH PRESIDENT'S WIFE HAS POSED NUDE. (Reuters) - A nude portrait of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni was sold at the auctioneers Christie's in New York City. The 13 x 10 1/8 inch gelatin silver black and white photograph was taken in 1993, when Bruni was one of the world's top fashion models, and was sold by art collector Gert Elfering. Sarkozy married Bruni, 42, in February 2008 after a whirlwind romance that began shortly after his divorce from his second wife Cecilia.
Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy, whose long list of past lovers includes English rock stars Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. During a trip to South Africa they were attacked for constantly kissing and touching each other in public, including during a photograph session with Nelson Mandela.
Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy's ( Carla Bruni her photo above) decision to pursue her own commercial interests, including a lucrative advertising contract with car makers Lancia, has infuriated French citizens. It was even rumoured that Italian-born Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy, who is now a successful pop singer in France used her trip to stay with the Queen at Windsor to promote her new album.
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