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France Rejects Veiled Muslim Wife

From BBC News: Europe

France rejects veiled Muslim wife

A French court has denied citizenship to a Muslim woman from Morocco, ruling that her practice of “radical” Islam is not compatible with French values.

The 32-year-old woman, known as Faiza M, has lived in France since 2000 with her husband – a French national – and their three French-born children.

Social services reports said the burqa-wearing Faiza M lived in “total submission to her male relatives”.

Faiza M said she has never challenged the fundamental values of France.

Her initial application for French citizenship was rejected in 2005 on the grounds of “insufficient assimilation” into France.

She appealed, and late last month the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest administrative body which also acts as a high court, upheld the decision to deny her citizenship.


July 13, 2008 - Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, France, Living Conditions, Social Issues


  1. […] France Rejects Veiled Muslim Wife […]

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  2. […] France Rejects Veiled Muslim Wife […]

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  3. the thing is in France they are not just against muslims… they are against showing any sign of religious background but people sometimes tend to take it personally! In college a Kuwaiti girl asked me to sign a paper -which basically is a letter showing how offended we are that they wont allow hejab in schools in France- and I rejected.. she got really mad at me accusing me of things u cant even imagine!! I told her to get her facts right.. people are weird! AND ITS A PERSONAL CHOICE! isnt it?

    Comment by Ansam | July 13, 2008 | Reply

  4. Although I’m disappointed for this lady, I can somehow see where they are coming from. I believe that when you’re in a certain country, you have to respect their culture, dress codes and values. This will ensure peacefulness and ease among different factions of the community. If one party gets to wear what they like, other parties will also want to do what they want and then it just turns into chaos.

    For example; in most cases, you won’t see westerners coming to live in the middle east wearing short shorts or revealing tank tops. and in some cases, they even wear an abaya to show respect. And if we want to take the worst extreme, look at KSA.

    Therefore we should expect the same in the Western World. France’s main motto is “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” and everyone should respect that. Whatever the rules of the country, you should follow in order not to disrupt the peace, otherwise you can always leave.

    Comment by Babycakes | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  5. I guess the French have the same right as anyone other country to choose who gets to be French. You have it right, Ansam, it’s very French. Their reasoning is “failure to assimilate.”

    I’ve spent a lot of time in France. I’ve seen many many Muslim women, who cover their hair – and oh, my, are they gorgeous. The African women have the most amazing turbans, and the Moroccan women look glamorous and exotic. The French tolerate them just fine! They have taken their belief and covered themselves in a way the French can admire – they are STYLISH!

    Babycakes – We have a large Muslim population in Seattle, too, and there – the women wear raincoats! They fit right in!

    There are ocasional women in niqab; unfortunately the niqab draws attention to them rather than deflecting it. I think you are right – the best guest tries to blend in.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  6. so do they ask nuns to take off their habits too?

    do they ask people not to wear crosses?

    or let me use another example

    do they not allow ppl to dye their heads pink? green?
    look Gothic?

    is there an international dress code?

    or is it just against the hijab?

    Comment by eshda3wa | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  7. eshda3wa – I can’t answer those questions for France. I can say in France, and in the US, most nuns no longer wear habits; they serve in normal everyday clothing. They wear crosses. I DO know that in France, and in many US schools, any religious symbol must be small. For example, crosses are allowed, IF discreet, if small and worn under clothing. Schools send kids home with pink or green hair, or any kind of extreme look.

    I know French public schools have banned hijab, but what about private schools? Or home schooling? Or on-line classes?

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  8. I don’t think that the niqab was the deciding factor in this case.

    France has historically granted or denied immigration applications based on degree of “assimilation” – of the extent to which the would-be immigrant demonstrates an affiliation for French language, history, culture and values.

    I think this case does indicate a tightening of French citizenship requirements, but I don’t think its about fashion. I think its about Madame Faiza not speaking French, not exhibiting a knowledge of (or interest in) French history and culture, and – in particular – not embracing the freedoms available to her as a French woman.

    As I see it, the foulard is not the issue here – the “total submission” is.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  9. well they actually do ask Christians to take of the cross off in schools, as well as Muslims to take off Hejab, and not allow Jewish to wear cap (Kippah)

    The point is they dont want anyone to show any sign of it… religion as whole that is!

    Comment by Ansam | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  10. Huh. I sure didn’t know all that. How do you know all this, Ansam? And do the same rules apply to private schools, like if there is a Catholic private school, would different rules apply?

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  11. Wow. Thanks, Ansam, I stand corrected. You and Little Diamond hit the nail on the head.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  12. i dont see anything wrong with that. just as short shorts and tank tops are inappropriate and basically rejected in kuwait, france has the right to do as they please.

    Comment by Mrm | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  13. Yeh, the French have a way of being quintessentially French!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  14. I think this shows that the French just can’t accept Multiculturalism…. I don’t see how wearing a veil affects a country???

    I’m impressed by veiled women because it shows that they don’t follow ‘fashion’ and are not easily manipulated, they want to be respected without showing people their bodies- for me that’s waht all women should fight for why should we have to dress half- naked to get promoted??? So well done to that woman you are an inspiration!!!

    Comment by Alisha | August 4, 2008 | Reply

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