Pregnant Muslim woman in France attacked for wearing headscarf

Published: March 27, 2015
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A women, wearing a niqab despite a nationwide ban on the Islamic face veil in France in 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

A women, wearing a niqab despite a nationwide ban on the Islamic face veil in France in 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

A headscarf-wearing Muslim woman in her final month of pregnancy was violently assaulted in southern France this week by a man who accused her of wearing a hijab to hide her hair.

The 29-year-old woman was hospitalised on Tuesday after being attacked on a street in Toulouse, southern France.

Read: French court upholds dismissal over headscarf

According to her account, the attacker pulled on her veil, grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground, where he hit her several times.

Muslim women protest about France’s decision to ban the veil. PHOTO: AFP

The young women lodged a complaint of racist abuse a day after the attack on March 24. She was interviewed by investigators of departmental security at the clinic she is recovering in.

Read: German court says Muslim teachers can wear headscarf unless disruptive

“There is no reason to doubt her word,” said a police source, referring to the possibility of the establishment of a sketch of the attacker who fled.

The victim’s husband, Mounir, 33 said his wife took her two daughters to school when she was attacked.

“One of them grabbed her hair, pulled on her veil while insulting her [saying] ‘None of that in our country’ … He threw a lot of punches… His friend, who was not involved in the violence, told him to stop,” he was quoted as saying by La Depeche du Midi.

Read: ‘World Muslimah contest’ on mission to empower women

Condemnation

In a statement, the Socialist deputy of Haute-Garonne, Christophe Borgel, said “there was no doubt” about “the racist and anti-Muslim character of this aggression”.

“The [French] Republic does not tolerate any racist attack…will not tolerate any aggression because of the religion of one of its citizens,” Borgel wrote.

Read: Turkey lifts ban on headscarves at high schools

The spokesperson for the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith (CRCM) in the Midi-Pyrénées, Abdellatif Mellouki, said he had “deep concerns” about “an increase in extremist acts.

While the French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the incident “shocking,” saying the law enforcers seeking the attackers.

“No French person can be attacked or threatened based on their origin or religion,” he said in a statement.

The article originally appeared in International Business Times. 

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Reader Comments (27)

  • ali
    Mar 27, 2015 - 10:59PM

    Thanks for Sarkozy and Hollande…Where are the liberals hiding now..Recommend

  • Neo
    Mar 28, 2015 - 1:37AM

    we should try to make world safer place for humans.
    During kot radha krishan incident that female was also pregnant,Recommend

  • Gopal
    Mar 28, 2015 - 8:31AM

    Why muslims do not follow rules??Recommend

  • Human
    Mar 28, 2015 - 9:08AM

    The christian family in pakistan who were accused of ….. were also burnt alive .

    when will all realise & stop this crulety . not only in france but specially here in pakistan Recommend

  • Fawad
    Mar 28, 2015 - 10:29AM

    She was attacked by racist person, not liberal ones. Second, if she was breaking law by wearing veil, it was for police to punish. As per report, in fact it was the friend of attacker who was trying to stop him. So, all kinds of people are everywhere, it is just that people think and act more positively.Recommend

  • devinder singh
    Mar 28, 2015 - 11:25AM

    Very badRecommend

  • Saleem
    Mar 28, 2015 - 12:16PM

    No excuse for this. Attacker deserves strongest punishment. How can any human attack a pregnant woman?
    Remind you that alltogetger minorities in France are much better protected and living then in Pakistan.Recommend

  • owais
    Mar 28, 2015 - 1:32PM

    @Gopal:
    Excuse me.. Muslims.are following rules which are imposed on them by Allah…Recommend

  • f
    Mar 28, 2015 - 1:47PM

    It should not have happened but these days world has become so violent, inhumane and less tolerant that’s why we are learning something new everyday, “VIOLENT STORIES” world has fulled with these violent stories, now this is the time “minorities of each country should know the reality and they should not look so different as compare to others, they should respect each other religion otherwise they will be targeted”.
    wearing BURQA looking so different in their culture its so vulnerable even our country we hear every day brutal attacks on human and minorities,if Francisy muslim can not change their life style(especially wearing style) then they should migrate in some muslim countries where they will be free to wear “baurqa with niqab”.Recommend

  • Maryam
    Mar 28, 2015 - 2:26PM

    It’s great that the lady filed a complaint against the aggressor. Women like that give others hope. Standing up for yourself is really crucial and racist abuse shouldn’t go unpunished. You would’ve thought this is 2015 and people have stopped bullying and grown mature. The very same people who assault others based on their ethnicity and religious beliefs proclaim that freedom of speech allows them to have opinions. Have they ever heard of freedom of choice? And does freedom of speech condone inflicting your opinions on others and going to such lengths just to subjugate others to your will? Recommend

  • Maryam
    Mar 28, 2015 - 2:35PM

    It’s great that the lady filed a complaint against the aggressor. Women like that give others hope. Standing up for yourself is crucial and racist abuse shouldn’t go unpunished. You would’ve thought this is 2015 and people have stopped bullying and grown mature. These people who assault others based on their ethnicity and religious beliefs also proclaim that freedom of speech allows them to have opinions. Does freedom of speech condone inflicting your opinions on others and going to such lengths just to subjugate others to your will? If only enough people were speaking up for freedom of choice as are for freedom of expression. Recommend

  • Sara Pirzada
    Mar 28, 2015 - 3:55PM

    @Gopal:
    What do you mean? Did you not READ the article? What’s taking your 2 daughters to school in headscarf aka HIJAB, WHICH IS ALLOWED IN FRANCE, has to do with not FOLLOWING the damn rules?! What rules, exactly, was the woman breaking? I’m sorry, if you blame the woman and not her assaulter, you’ve got some twisted mentality. Recommend

  • Arun
    Mar 28, 2015 - 4:38PM

    @Sara Pirzada:
    Veils are banned in France due to security concerns. That’s what he pointed out.
    The attack on this women is shameful & condemnable. She should avoid wearing the veil too as it is banned in France due to security concerns.Recommend

  • Haider Rehman
    Mar 28, 2015 - 5:36PM

    Had a similar attack been done by a “Muslim”, media would instantly make headlines “Islamist Jihadist attacks women”. Shame.Recommend

  • HDI
    Mar 28, 2015 - 7:35PM

    no Je Suis this time?Recommend

  • redfish1124
    Mar 28, 2015 - 9:03PM

    It’s true, face veils/burkas/niqab are banned in France. But this article says she was only wearing a headscarf, nothing over her face.Recommend

  • Amina Ali
    Mar 28, 2015 - 10:38PM

    Are you sure that she was not attacked for being pregnant? There are people who do that.Recommend

  • Sadia
    Mar 29, 2015 - 2:12AM

    @Arun:
    then what about the nuns? id like to see them take off their veils first Recommend

  • zara
    Mar 29, 2015 - 5:32AM

    @Human:
    true and then a mob killed two muslims as well in church bombing.
    Read abt marwa al sherbini guys. This woman is nothing that is mentioned in news.Recommend

  • Pixie dust
    Mar 29, 2015 - 6:23PM

    JUST LIKE A WOMAN HAS THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE HOW MUCH OF HER SKIN SHE WANTS TO EXPOSE THE SAME WAY SHE HAS THE SAME FREEDOM TO COVER HERSELF JUST AS MUCH AS SHE WANTS TO!
    INHUMANITY AND INTOLERANCE IN A COUNTRY WHICH TALKS ABOUT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND SPEECH.. What hypocrisy. Recommend

  • ain
    Mar 29, 2015 - 6:45PM

    Naked women ok..near naked women ok..niqab women banned..cause they wanted to see naked women all over their country. It’s strange how a peace of cloth could set a country into panic. Muslims terrorist? Which country have they attack. Muslims only had to defend them self against America and their plan.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Mar 29, 2015 - 7:55PM

    This is going to happen more and more. Religious symbols are best worn in the native countries. When you go abroad, do what the Romans do. Stop antagonizing the locals. How many nuns can wear their garb in Saudi Arabia?Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Mar 29, 2015 - 7:57PM

    @Sadia: Are nuns allowed to wear their dress in Saudi Arabia?
    Wear whatever you want in your own country. That is probably the takeaway from this piece.Recommend

  • adams
    Apr 2, 2015 - 1:06AM

    @Gopal: , we shall make you follow rules soon, be patient…Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 26, 2015 - 8:27PM

    @Gopal:
    They do. Religion and Law are two different things and wearing headscarves does not disrupt daily proceedings.Recommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 26, 2015 - 8:30PM

    @Amina Ali:
    I doubt that Amina. People have twisted mentality and they can do anythingRecommend

  • Ahmad Imran
    Jul 26, 2015 - 8:33PM

    @Ashraf:
    Well sadly you just showed the weakness of your mind. Religion is religion. Religion is not Law of country. Tell me how can a headscarf cause so much panic? It cant. Also if we go by your logic it is also a norm to wear a bikini at the beach. Would you allow your mother or Sisters to go by that ?Recommend

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