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Telegraph UK: Retired French schoolteacher in ‘niqab rage’ case

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A French pensioner chased a Muslim woman around a shop and ripped her niqab from her face claiming they should be banned in France, a court has heard.

Jeanne Ruby, a retired 63-year-old English teacher told police that she “snapped” when she spied the woman from the United Arab Emirates, whose whole face was covered, in a home furnishings shop in Paris’ chic 15th arrondissement.

The case came a week after France’s Constitutional Court gave its final seal of approval to a law banning face-covering veils from all public places.

Mrs Ruby, who was not present in court, told police she had began by asking Shaika Al-Suwaidi, 26, to remove the veil because it was “offensive”.

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“For me, wearing the veil is an act of aggression; I felt attacked as a woman,” she said.

The plaintiff allegedly refused and continued shopping with a friend and two small children.

When Mrs Ruby bumped into her a few minutes later and saw she was still wearing the veil, she allegedly “snapped”. Rushing at the woman in black, she tore off her niqab and scratched and slapped her alleged victim.

Mrs Al-Suwaidi claimed her alleged assailant then bit her right hand and cried: “Now I can see your face.”

In an interview with Le Parisien before the trial, Mrs Ruby explained: “I find it unacceptable that someone should be wearing a niqab in this country of human rights.

“It’s no more than a muzzle and all that’s missing is the reins. It’s the negation of womanhood.

“I’ve taught in Morocco and Saudi Arabia and I have seen how these women walk three paces behind their husbands.”

Mrs Al-Suwaidi’s lawyer said her client had suffered “psychological shock” after the incident and had to take two days off work.

“(Mrs Ruby) is the one who had a provocative attitude. This aggression is a breach of religious freedom,” he said.

He said that his client, who was not present in court, had left the country in disgust with no intention of returning.

Yesterday [Thu], the prosecution called for a two-month suspended sentence against Mrs Ruby for “aggravated voluntary assault” and a 750-euro (£660) fine. The plaintiff’s lawyers demanded a total of 15,000 euros (£13,200) in damages. The trial continues.

France’s law banning the burka and other face-covering garments comes into force early next year. It will mean anyone, including Muslim tourists, can now be fined for wearing the garment or ordered to follow a citizenship course.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Umar

    October 20, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Isn’t the government highly hypocritical in their action. They ban the garment, then when somebody chooses to stand up for the law, they fine them. Perhaps it was the scratch or the delay in implementation that got her fined…(shouldn’t female boxing be banned on the same premisis?) But surely if somebody commits a crime, punishable by the high court, than a measley scratch can be overlooked? Could it be that subconciously, the courts know there is really nothing wrong with the garment, and are punishing the scratch based on their guilt?    
    Regardless, the violent woman talks of her countries “human rights” and fails to realise that preventing a tourist from wearing modest clothing is itself a violation of the same human rights which she boasts of. 

    Is it not in the governments interest to protect the population, by preventing indecency? I just can’t understand how preventing women dressing decently and modestly is going to help improve french society??? Singling out a small group of women, is doing the exact opposite. 

    Sorry for the essay-comment but I have always struggled to understand the reasoning behind the banning of a this small garment.

    Makes me wonder if their going to ban surgical face masks next?    

    • CM

      February 6, 2011 at 4:29 AM

      The niqab is clearly a barrier to normal human to human interaction as it prevents the other party from seeing the wearer’s face. It also implies very loudly that the wearer distrust the other party. How does this promote normal interaction?

      The niqab is not a replacement for surgical mask in the operation theater. Obviously they have different functions.

      • ahlam

        February 6, 2011 at 7:34 PM

        So how does that in any way justify uncivilized behaviour?Chasing a person because you don’t like what’s on their face…in a shop…and a fancy one at that. Sanity is a blessing.I’d like her to play a ‘try and catch me if you can’ till she stops.Then do dawah on her,for free:)

        Sorry,but if you’re afraid then the fear is all in your head and you need to overcome it so that you do not see yourself acting in an aggressive manner years later when you retire.Im serious.

        You wouldnt think that this has to do with distrust when you know of the real reasons behind their adorning it.So,people choosing to wear surgical masks during the bird flu epidemics just seemed to be full of trust?Imagine people flipping out in the OT and attacking the surgeon for not trusting them.It was clear why they did it.In the flu epidemic people wore it out of necessity and by the same token niqabis wear niqab out of necessity from their belief of what is right for themselves,as beings having the intellect to decide and choose.

        However,Round of applause for freedom people.Round of applause!

        (PS. niqabis please walk with your mahram outside especially in a islamophobic place like france).

        • CM

          February 7, 2011 at 7:10 AM

          Nothing justify Mrs Ruby’s aggressive and insane behavior. It is wrong. Period.

          But my posting is in response to Umar’s posting, who tried to compare the niqab to the surgical mask, which clearly shows how biased and irrational in this matter, simply because the niqab is supposed to be a religious garment.

          However, the niqab is never a compulsory garment for muslim women, and muslim women are only required to wear decently. So there is really no need for muslims to defend the niqab with so much bizarre zest.

          The function of the surgical mask is to protect medical personnel and reduce their risks from getting infected by their patients. The niqab has no such function and cannot be used for this function.

          As for creating a sense of distrust, yes, Ahlam, you are right in pointing out that by donning the surgical masks, doctors are basically conveying a sense of distrust, and rightly so. Doctors and nurses simply cannot assume that their patients are not infectious and on the contrary, must assume that all patients are potentially infectious and hazardous. But in order to carry out their duties effectively without harming themselves, medical staffs have to wear surgical masks when necessary.

          So what does wearing the niqab tells the other party who is interacting with the niqabis? Distrust. The niqabis simply IS telling the other party that she does not trust the other party, and hence must conceal her face from the other party. She is basically telling the other that the other party is dangerous or untrustworthy. This is simply not an acceptable way of interacting with another human being in this time and age. Not to mention an insult to the other party and an obstacle to the development of decent and healthy human to human relationship.

          What good can the niqab possibly bring to the wearer as well as to the society around her?

          • HR 06

            October 1, 2012 at 1:56 AM

            CM,

            Have you ever in your life spoken to somebody over the phone? Did you ever feel distrusted or make the person on the other end of the line feel the same?

            It’s ironic when we find ourselves living in an age where deals worth Millions are cracked over the phone, large orders of various kinds are placed over the phone, people being helped through telephone counselling and all this without either party seeing each others’ faces and there comes a bunch of bigots who tells the world that face veil, observed by minute fraction of Muslim women, is a barrier to normal human interaction.

            Really an ironic world!

  2. Islam de France

    October 23, 2010 at 8:04 AM

    The situation is begining to be difficult for french muslimas whose wear the niqab. Because of the law population think they are in their right to oppress muslim women wearing niqab

    Also the law is not to face a real problem because the Islam doesn’t cause problem, but politicals like Sarkozy in intention to win the election on 2012 want to obtain voice from islamophobic and racist parti

    make du3a for us please

  3. Murabitun Takruri

    October 25, 2010 at 7:39 AM

    Salamu Alaykum from Canada,

    May Allah give this women (Rudy) what she derserves for going beyond the limits of causing harm to another human being. I find it amazing and chocked at her action and the audacity she has to go and snatch off a women’s veil who happent to be a tourist with her small children, spending money in her so called country and who has done nothing to her.
    I mean the guts she has had me, really!!! Its discusting. Rudy is talking human rights while she is abusing another human right to wear. What a funny people france has. May Allah guide them and may Allah awake this spleeping 3.5 millions french muslims in france and all muslims.
    My heart and duas goes to all women who are suffering this human right abuse. I hope that Shaika sued this women and the french governement for the physical abuse.

    p.s. i am sorry if i ofended anyone. i am just really frustrated and upset about this incident. May Allah give us Sabr and steadfasteness to all, ameen.

  4. francis Ayala

    December 4, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    There is such dire misunderstanding about this. Yes, it is offensive to most Westerners to see the scarves and headcoverings on Muslim women. It represents “oppression to” them. Women fought very hard for every single right they enjoy here. They were beaten, jailed, tortured in prisons while striving to change many laws, like the right to vote, to own their own property, make a decent pay wage, rights for children. When they see a woman with a scarf on her head, especially in the workplace, the ask themselves, “why is she here enjoying what we fought for, when she can’t even do one little rebellious thing like take the scarf off? They understand that it would be hard for her, and that she might be shunned by family and friends for doing so, but they don’t want her to cause a shift backwards in progress and thinking. I think Muslims have no idea about this, because they have been taught to think that the cloth gives them modesty and represents love of God. Western women have to cover their heads in Arabia, and Muslim women can show the same respect to Western countries that took them in, by taking it off, and demonstrating that they appreciate the rights they are now enjoying, and create a sense of community rather than separateness.

    • Si anu

      June 15, 2016 at 4:16 PM

      “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”
      [QS. Al-Kaafiroon: Verse 6]

      What kind of respect by taking the veil off? Muslim have the higher shame, modesty and laws how to cloth, if we respect them what about Allah and prophet Muhammad pbuh? But them, they dont have laws and rules about clothing, but muslim do have. What they do when they came to arabian country is not respecting culture and other religion but what they do is respecting rules by God.

      “they don’t want her to cause a shift backwards in progress and thinking” hijab, veil, burqa not cause a shift backwards in progress and thinking, they just dont understand why the women wear that. Women just like jewel so Allah make some rules for them to caring them. In addition to, they feel comfortable they like to wearing it because they love and i love whatever Allah ask me to wear. So what makes shift backwards progress and thinking? What are they mean about it? You know in the workplace, it doesnt mean muslim women have no rights for working, phsycology they are weaker than men, so if they meet some bad man what can protect her?, Allah prevent this to happen so Allah makes rules for women. Biologycally phsycologically women and men are different so the rules for protecting and caring must be different.

      “why is she here enjoying what we fought for”
      If they fought for right, why are they impose the right of clothing? Why are they impose someone to take the veil or scaff off? Is that what they call rights? If yes it means they fought for rights then they burried them. Its not fair to fight just his own rights what about other people rights? Especially muslim women rights, to wear what they want.

      “when she can’t even do one little rebellious thing like take the scarf off? They understand that it would be hard for her, and that she might be shunned by family and friends for doing so”

      Sister you know its harder than that, and if they suffering cause of fight that so hard in every single right, why do they make muslim women suffering like them too? If they want to be comfortable in doing their rights they have to make people comfortable too for doing their rights.

      May Allah blessed you and me, and open the muslims’ heart and mind, aamiin

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