French businessman to sue France, Belgium over burqa ban

Published: August 18, 2011

French businessman Rachid Nekkaz (C), who is said to be a candidate for the 2012 France's presidential election, stands next to Halima (L) and Imen (R) after he paid their fines for wearing a niqab in Brussels August 17, 2011. PHOTO: Reuters

BRUSSELS: A French businessman paid fines Wednesday for two women in Belgium who wore full-face veils in public and said he would take Belgium and France to court over laws banning Muslim niqabs and burqas.

Property dealer Rachid Nekkaz has set up a 1 million euro ($1.4 million) fund to cover fines and paid the first 50-euro penalties imposed in Belgium on two women in Brussels.

“France and Belgium have decided to forbid the possibility and the liberty of women to wear what they want,” he told reporters outside a municipal office in Brussels.

The two fined women, both wearing niqabs, were also present.

“I consider that … it’s not acceptable that European governments vote in laws that don’t respect individual rights.”

Belgium’s law banning any covering of the face in public came into effect late last month.

France was the first country to introduce a ban in Europe in April.
Nekkaz said he planned a legal challenge in both countries.

“I will pursue the French and Belgian states in their national courts and then in the European Court of Human Rights so that they are sanctioned for violating individual liberties.”

Reader Comments (4)

  • ashok sai
    Aug 18, 2011 - 11:16AM

    Mr.Rachid Nekkaz, gone with this you even contesting presidential election !!!

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  • Zuzana
    Aug 18, 2011 - 3:42PM

    Having to take the shoes off going throught the airpot check violates my individual liberty. Having to have the t-shirt and shoes on in the restaurant violates my liberty. Speed limit 55/mph violates my liberty. School uniforms violate my liberty. Lack of chool uniforms violates my liberty. Having to pay for my groceries violates my liberty. After all, isn’t it my right to not go hungry and thirsty? Where is my right to the well being and my right to the healthcare? Why do I have to pay for my rights? Paying for anything violates my liberty since money is only a human artifact. Allah did not create money therefore I can’t be using it. Nobody can force me to use money. That would violate my liberty, that’s against my religion. I have liberties and rights. You keep your obligations and responsibilities and your man made laws. Understood?

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  • dr zakir hussain soomro
    Aug 18, 2011 - 7:57PM

    violence in my city karachi goverment is responsible, because they are supposed to be chosen members of assembly.

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  • Thsicoe
    Aug 19, 2011 - 8:06AM

    Funny – I thought the Koran commanded the faithful to observe the laws of host countries – it most certainly doesn’t say anything about changing these man made, infidel laws. They must just endure them.

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