Thankfully, Jean-Marie Pire has been arrested for assaulting a woman wearing the veil, in the process ripping off her earrings, leaving her with cuts and bruises.
Strangely reports on the assault have been describing Pire’s attack in mild terms, as if he were simply “removing the veil,” or “taking off the full-face veil.” Grabbing and ripping off a woman’s veil is should never be described as “removing” or “taking off,” it is plain and simple assault!
A senior Belgium diplomat has been arrested for taking off the full-face veil of a Qatari princess after she asked him for directions, in a case that has highlighted difficulties in imposing the so-called “burka ban” in the country.
Jean-Marie Pire, who apparently specialises in protocol, went about removing the woman’s niqab, a black full-face veil, when approached by her on the street in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
The 60-year-old diplomat, who did not know the identity of the wealthy royal, took offence to her clothing when she approached him with two other women last week, asking for directions.
“I said I don’t talk to anyone if I can’t see their face,” Pire said, according to The Times. “With this reply, I wanted to make it clear that the veil is banned in Belgium,” he added.
“Because the person asking me a question didn’t seem to hear me, I lifted her veil. I know I shouldn’t have done that, but what she did wasn’t legal either!”
Belgium, along with France, banned full face-coverings in 2012, imposing fines for wearing veils.
Local officials have reportedly already given the unnamed woman a fine of around £115 for breaching the ban on face-coverings. She also faces up to seven days in prison for wearing the garment in public.
The woman, who has not been named, has made an official complaint to Brussels prosecutors, who may now charge Pire with assault.
She said she suffered cuts and bruises after her earrings were violently dislodged, along with her veil.