Target: Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls
Goal: Strike down full-face veil ban, as this violates freedom of expression.
In April 2011, France handed down a law that banned women from wearing full-face veils, or the niqab, in public spaces. Those that broke the law would be fined. This ban has gained significant media attention due to the recent attacks on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Those who are female and are of the Islamic faith wear these veils for religious reasons, but this law has led to a rise of attacks on women. The right to express yourself is a human right, one that shouldn’t be violated by the government. Unfortunately, France is spitting on these rights and making its citizens xenophobic. Urge Prime Minister Manuel Valls to strike down this ban, as it stomps on freedom of expression and does nothing to make people tolerant.
While France is known to be a secular nation, the country is not spreading words of tolerance. Ever since the attack on Charlie Hebdo, which was committed by Islamic extremists, Mosques and those who are of the Islamic faith have been attacked. The attacks also brought attention back to France’s ban on the niqab. No one is allowed to wear the full-face veil in public spaces, such as riding the bus, taking a walk, or going to the grocery store.
Those who supported the ban said that it would promote “gender equality” and protect the “dignity” of women, but all it has done is increase the amount of crime against women. Those who were seen wearing niqabs were subsequently attacked, whether it be having the veil ripped off, or barred entry from bars and buses. The ban discriminates against women who wear niqabs and it’s placed them in harm’s way. It does nothing to promote tolerance or gender equality.
A person can be fined up to €130 and be required to take a citizenship course. This is extremely humiliating for immigrants who have been granted French nationality. Sign this petition and tell Prime Minister Manuel Valls to revoke this law immediately.
Dear Prime Minister Manuel Valls,
It concerns me that France has a ban on full-face veils. The right to express one’s self is an inherent human right, yet you’ve taken these rights away from Muslims. As a first-world nation I expected France to support this right, but instead the nation is supporting xenophobia, discrimination, and violence against women. There are Muslim women who are terrified of going out because they do not know if they will be attacked by strangers.
It is criminal to place an innocent person’s life at risk simply because the government does not agree with a religion. Freedom of expression should be granted to everyone, and this includes those of the Islamic faith. I urge you to strike down the ban on full-face veils at once and support freedom of expression.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Marcello Casal Jr via Wikimedia Commons