Woman sentenced for attacking Muslim veil-wearer
A French court Thursday slapped a one-month suspended jail sentence on a retired female teacher who attacked a woman in a shop for wearing a face-covering Islamic veil.
The Paris court heard that the defendant, who had worked in several Arab countries, set upon a 26-year-old Emirati woman in a shop, first trying to tug off her niqab veil and then slapping, scratching and biting her on the hand.
"I knew that I was going to crack one day. This burqa business was beginning to annoy me," the defendant told police, saying she was fighting for women's rights, according to evidence heard in court.
France last month passed a law to ban the wearing of the niqab and other face-coverings in public places, a controversial move in a country with Europe's biggest Muslim population, estimated at nearly six million.
The court ruled Thursday the defendant's "violent behaviour reveals an intolerance of others that defies explanation and denies cohabitation and dialogue between people who have different ways of life or opposing beliefs."
© 2010 AFP