French Magazine Le Point’s Shameless Headline

November 1 cover of Le Point.

France is and will always be my special soapbox, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when crap like this comes out. On November 1st, the magazine ran a cover with a niqabi (OF COURSE) on the front, with the headline “Cet Islam sans gêne” (This Brazen Islam), with a sub-headline of examples of where Muslims are behaving badly: schools, cafeterias, pools, schools, school programs. Note that in France these are always the examples of Muslims behaving badly, the actual content is such weak sauce I wo … [Read more...]

Muslim Women Get Naked! Femen’s Topless Tactics and Muslim Women in France

A Femen member at a protest.

Recently, Femen, the controversial Ukrainian feminist organization, has been established in France. Femen was founded in 2008 to protest sexism, patriarchy and violence while advocating for feminism. Its members became well-known for protesting naked against sexism, trafficking, religious institutions and sex tourism, among others.  The group, which has become internationally known, has also been able to gather members in some other countries in Europe.The movement’s founder, Anna Hutsol, is … [Read more...]

When Laïcité Goes Wrong, or When Burqa Checks Start Getting Real

Since the anti-burqa law (or whatever you want to call it, I can’t anymore) was passed in France, women with “full cover” can be cited for non-compliance, and can be stopped for identity checks.  We all remember the story of the polygamous butcher and his many niqab-clad wives gleefully committing welfare fraud.  One of his wives was stopped while driving, and it was argued that she was pulled over, not for a traditional traffic offense, but because she was driving with a niqab on (which is why s … [Read more...]

Change Is Now? No, Not Yet: Manuel Valls as France’s New Interior Minister

Manuel Valls

I was rather excited about Francois Hollande winning the French elections this month.  I hoped that five years of hateful, fear mongering policy towards Muslims by Sarkozy and his minions would come to an end and that Hollande, for all his supposed blandness, would bring some low-key normalcy to the French presidency.There was one flaw in my reasoning: Manuel Valls, Hollande’s new Interior Minister.  The Interior Minister in France is a quite important cabinet position, responsible for int … [Read more...]

The French “Niqab Ban,” One Year On

Visage découvert poster

A year ago this week, a French law came into effect banning face veils for women.  At the time, the law was subject to much derision for “only” affecting the very specific number of 367 niqab and burqa-clad women (as of 2009) in France, although at its time, the law was thought to concern a couple thousand women.Anything relating to Muslims has long been a political tool in France, be it from the far-right National Front (FN) party, or from President Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement (UM … [Read more...]

The DSK Rape Victim is Everything but a Victim, According to the Media

The media response to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape charges is predictably horrific. The salacious gossip can maintain itself for weeks: the victim lives in a complex for HIV-positive residents (no wait! She doesn’t); wears hijab; and is “pious and respectable.” No, you say, she’s not unattractive—she’s actually got great breasts?A full 57% of French citizens claim that Strauss-Kahn, who was set to unseat Sarkozy in the upcoming election, was set-up at his Sofitel Hotel. This, of course, is p … [Read more...]

The Doha Debates on The Burqa Ban

Last month, the Qatar Foundation’s Doha Debates took on the French niqab ban, discussing the motion: “This House believes France is right to ban the face veil.” Since the niqab ban (or the “burqa ban,” and we’ve dubbed it) has been a big media issue on MMW,  a few of MMW's ladies decided to get together to talk about this edition of the Debates.You can read the transcript or watch video at the website.Yusra: Was it just me or were the most recent Doha Debates the best installment so far? S … [Read more...]


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