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TechDirt: Nice Officials Say They’ll Sue Internet Users Who Share Photos Of French Fashion Police Fining Women In Burkinis


This photo is extremely disturbing. As armed police officers force a Muslim woman to undress. The hatred for Islam and Muslims in France has become absurd. I have a hard time posting the above picture as well considering it is a clear cut example of an attempt at dominating Muslim women specifically.

via. TechDirt

Over the last few weeks there’s been plenty of controversy over plans on the Côte d’Azur in the south of France to ban burkinis — a kind of full body bathing suit favored by some Muslim women. As the Guardian pointed out recently, the whole thing seems like a “bizarre inversion” of Muslim countries where making sure women are covered is enforced:

The burkini row may seem banal, and to some a surreal inversion of laws in Islamic countries, but it has become yet another flame in the murderous tinderbox of Islamism in France, invoking issues of control over the body, religious freedom, racism, provocation, terrorism, Islam and Islamophobia, republicanism and what the French call laïcité. Lïïcité is the hardest for people outside France to understand: our words “laity” and “secularism” fail to express the depth of allergy to all things theocratic, which is endemic to French societal fabric since the revolution.

Others are pointing out the absurdities when compared to what’s allowed. I’ve seen several versions of this, but this one is my favorite:

Either way, the story blew up again last night as the Daily Mail reported on actual instances of women on a beach in Nice being forced to remove clothing and pay fines. While the Daily Mail is not particularly trustworthy on news, a number of other publications have now confirmed the story as well, and pictures are floating around on social media of police forcing women to remove clothing, including one where it’s pretty clearly not a burkini at all, but just a large shirt ormuumuu of some sort.

This seems pretty ridiculous on all sorts of levels, but never think things are so ridiculous that some politicians can’t make them worse. Guillaume Champeau from the excellent French site Numerama alerts me to the news that the deputy mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi is threatening to sue those who share these images over social media. Yup, France, a country that claims to pride itself on freedom is not just telling women that they can’t cover themselves up too much on the beach, but that it’s also illegal to report on the police following through on that. Here’s is the awkward Google translation of the French report:

Christian Estrosi … has published a press release by the city of Nice, to announce that he would file a complaint against those who would broadcast pictures of municipal police verbalize women guilty of exercising what they believed to be their freedom to dress from head to feet on the beaches.

” Photos showing municipal police of Nice in the exercise of their functions have been circulating this morning on social networks and raise defamation and threats against these agents ,” the statement said.

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  • Yausari

    Sooo much better than bikini

  • Laurent Weppe

    Ha, yes, welcome to France’s legal rabbit hole. The Conseil d’État decision doesn’t technically forbid banning the burkini, it forbids using specious reasons to justify banning the burkini.

    In other words, every french municipality is still allowed to ban the burkini, so long as they don’t invoke shitty excuses to justify it.

    Which means that in order to overturn the bans, victims will have to sue the municipalitoies individually, then prove in a court of law that the justification invoked by the municipality whose cops arrested/fined them were bullshit.

    Proving that the bans used specious excuses is not very difficult in itself (not much efforts went into hiding the racist intent behind the ban): it’s just going to be tedious, and expensive (lawyers aren’t free), and long.

    Basically, the Riviera’s mayors are pulling a Trump: they’re doing something blatantly illegal, because they expect the victims of their illegal deeds to lack the time/resources/energy to go all the way to the highest jurisdiction and kick their ass before France’s most well paid judges.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Huh: No, no, and no

    No, the income tax rate isn’t high under Hollande: the highest rate is a mere 45% for incomes above 150.000€, the same as the UK. Hollande did try to push a 75% rate for those who made more than one million per year at the onset of his term, but the Constitutional Council (then composed mostly of people nominated by the right-wing administrations which had come before) censored him. Not only is the anti-dekulakization insurance premium income tax not that high, but Income taxes on households and businesses account for less than 35% of the state’s income. Most of the state’s money (50,5%) comes from the VAT tax. Over half of France’s income comes from a the kind of proles-hurting flat tax that libertarians masturbate over, yet people keep claiming that France is some kind of richophobic bolshevik hell hole: Hollande’s fiscal policy merely make the one percent’s rents grow at a rate slightly lower than the country’s GDP growth.

    No, the French upper class does not, and never did emigrate en masse: while there’s been an handful of high profile anecdotal cases of billionaires going to Belgium to evade french taxes, for the most part, the french upper-class did the same thing than its counterparts: they found and exploited legal loopholes to lower their taxes, and for the bolder among them, defrauded the french fisc by hidding their money in tax havens (and they were doing this even when rightwing administrations were lowering the taxe rate).

    No the Wealthy do not fear Islam because they perceive it as somehow similar to Piketty’s brand of keynesianism. Most of them don’t even know what Zakat is: ask a rich french dude taken at random, and he’s more likely to tell you that “Zakat” is Street Fighter II’s prenultimate boss than to answer you “Alms for the poor” (France already has a wealth tax: if the french upper-class knew about Zakat and it’s similarities with the ISF, they’d be bitching non-stop about being “forced to pay an islamic tax“).

  • Mehdi

    Seems like these morons have to learn a bit about law.
    They keep saying “Muslims should respect the law” and now that the highest authority shows them that they violated the law (unlike these women who didn’t do anything wrong) they whine about the fact that the law should be changed
    This shows how much the french political class is the core of the problem especially in an election year.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Well, I for one expect self-proclaimed expert to claim (this year like every year) that this religious celebration honoring Abraham is intrinsically incompatible with Western Civilization’s Judeo-Christian roots.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Unfortunately, it appears that the ban was technically overturned only with regard to one resort town, and others are essentially claiming that the ruling doesn’t apply to them:

    Now I would like to kick sand in the faces of these French mayors. Perhaps they should learn more about liberty, as well as fraternity and equality.

  • George Carty

    Not as ridiculous as trying to swim in an abaya…

  • George Carty

    Catholic women pre-Vatican II did cover their heads in church. I suspect traditional Catholicism was discredited in Europe because it supported very reactionary right-wing politicians, many of whom collaborated with the Nazis.

    Head covering is still common among Russian Orthodox women, while it dies out among Greek Orthodox women because it came to be associated with the hated Ottoman occupiers.

  • George Carty

    Well ISIS/Daesh seeks an apocalyptic war between Islam and the West, so they were bound to attack some Western country. If no Western country was discriminating against Muslims, I suspect their main targets would be the United States (strongest militarily) and or Germany (strongest economically).

  • George Carty

    Would the French middle-class be less fearful of competition from below if general economic inequality was reduced?

    Hollande’s very high top rat of income tax didn’t work (it just drove the wealthy to emigrate) – perhaps a higher property tax (or better a land value tax) would be better? After all, you can’t stash prime real estate in a tax haven.

    Incidentally, I wonder if another reason why the wealthy fear Islam is because zakat is a wealth tax much like Thomas Piketty advocates…

  • Joey Sanders

    In France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, passed in 1789, it states in Article 10: No one may be disturbed for his opinions, even religious ones, provided that their manifestation does not trouble the public order established by the law. Later laws, passed in the early 20th century to keep France secular, were meant to keep religions out of government policy making only.

    In no way was there ever to be a bunch of policies passed to punish people for practicing their religion peacefully. France’s constitution or secular laws were never meant to ban mosques or anything else of that nature.

    Wearing hijabs, burqas, or burkinis are never going to be a threat to the public order. If anything, it is the bigots and the politicians trying to appeal to them that are troubling the public order.

    If France followed their constitution, they, probably, never would have been attacked by ISIS. There would be no cause for them to attack.

  • Khizer

    You better not criticise them otherwise they point their fingers at a third world Muslim country and shed crocodile tears about women are treated like shit (newsflash, women are treated like shit in other 3rd world non-Muslim or Muslim countries, heck even in first world countries to a lesser extent).even though such a point is irrelevant to how their country (which claims to uphold women’s rights) is limiting and even isolating women from a specific minority group.

  • Joey Sanders

    Corinthians 11:5 – But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head–it is the same as having her head shaved.

    Corinthians 11:6 – For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.

    Funny how many so-called Christians don’t follow their own rules.

  • Laurent Weppe

    The politicians who came up with the Burkini ban aren’t secularists: they’re demagogues courting white supremacists pissed at the slow but undeniable gentrification of the French people of Arabic descent (the french bourgeoisie never liked competition) who are using Islam as a proxy of “Arabs/Africans” because attacking religious customs is nowadays more socially acceptable than whining about the brown-skinned grand-children of helots getting a shot at becoming richer than them.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Spain did make private bathtubs illegal in the 16th century, so there’s precedent.

  • Khizer

    Well the burkins wasn’t designed to look fashionable, only allowing women to dress modestly and also enjoy the beach.

  • That’s great news! Thanks for sharing, JSB. 🙂

  • adc714

    while i think women in burkinis look utterly ridiculous , i think the ban is just as ridiculous

  • Mehdi

    Sky is the limit when it comes to picking stupid debates!
    Eid el adha is likely to happen on sept 11th, expect some controversy there.
    French political parties have nothing to debate over except for islam and terrorism, will be a VERY long year.

  • Khizer

    Next year’s French Controversy:

    Handheld bidets in washrooms are religious in nature and must be banned to preserve France’s laicite/secularism!!!

  • Mehdi

    Hats down to the work done by CCIF who fought back, reported the incidents and got these shameful bans overturned, hard work paid off. A lot of struggle ahead and I expect another controversy to come up soon (politicians are full of imagination) but this ruling is important.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    The burqini ban has been overturned!!: 🙂

    Saves me the trouble of posting a cartoon mocking the ban. It’s just not fair to kick those poor French mayors when they’ve just been defeated. Well, maybe one could kick sand in their faces.

  • Khizer

    I’m sure those francophone cowards would enjoy being 2nd/3rd class citizens, since they would think being treated like shit is a good way of earning respect from westerners.

    What would you expect from people who do not any self dignity or respect.

    Oh good doctor check the replies to this tweet, europeons at their finest.

  • 1DrM

    Brilliant analysis. Since France has made it clear that it hates Islam and Muslims, it’s reasonable to respond by completely erasing all aspects of French “culture” aka vile euroPeon colonialism from our societies. No violence, no need to vent by angry demonstrations at any embassy, just a silent, complete and sustained boycott and disengagement from these racist bastards. Nothing speaks louder then a closed wallet.
    Francophone sellouts are free to take a one way trip to the “fatherland” and be with their beloved slave masters. Enjoy the “equality” of being second and third class citizen.

  • Joey Sanders

    This is hilarious. Western Civilization is so fragile. All it takes is a few brown people attacking them and they are willing to throw away the principals they claim make them superior to the Muslim World. In America, it took 19 brown people. It took even less brown people than that in France.

    Estrosi is a bigger joke. How can anyone taking a picture of the police doing their job in public be subject to any form of complaint? He is so stupid that he does not realize that the administration of the burkini law is the primary factor raising defamation and threats against the police.

    How does he think it looks to Muslim men when a group of armed police officers are forcing a Muslim woman to strip down? I guess France should begin preparing themselves for another attack. I have a feeling it is only a matter of time.

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