Monday, April 11, 2011

Demonstrators Against France's Ban On Muslim Veils Are Arrested

In Paris on Saturday, French police arrested 59 people who attempted to demonstrate at Place de la Nation to protest the taking effect today of France's ban on Muslim women wearing the niqab or burqa-- which involve full face veils-- in public. (See prior posting.) AP reports that all but 6 of those arrested have been released.  Police were also ordered to arrest two others traveling to France from Britain and Belgium. Paris police banned Saturday's rally on the grounds that it threatened public order.  The demonstration was called by the group Unicite Tawhib, which is associated with websites that call for Islam to dominate France and the world.  Police say Jewish groups and others had planned counter protests.

UPDATE: Global News reports that as the ban on the full-face veil took effect on Monday, several women wearing veils appeared in front of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral. Two of the women were arrested for taking part in an unauthorized protest. Women can be fined up to $215 (US) or required to attend special citizenship classes.  Police have been instructed not to forcibly remove veils from women.