President Nicolas Sarkozy er fast bestemt på å markere den franske sekularitet, og vil derfor tvinge gjennom et forbud mot tildekking av ansiktet på offentlig sted. Loven legges frem i juli og Le Figaro kunne fredag fortelle at det ikke blir symbolske straffer. Overtrederen blir idømt 150 euro. Den som tvinger noen til å gå tildekket risikerer 15.000 euro og ett års fengsel.

Forslaget blir ikke forstått av Frankrikes muslimer. De opplever det som et angrep på islam og alle muslimer. Der ikke-muslimer ser det som et forsøk på å trekke en demarkasjonslinje for religionens invadering av det sekulære, nøytrale samfunn, ser de en invasjon av deres religion, identitet og åndelige territorium.

Some say giving police the power to fine Muslim women in the street is part of a worrying trend, after the government’s «national identity debate» and its targeting last week of a man accused of polygamy and radicalism.

Amid the polygamy controversy, bullets were fired at a mosque in Istres, southern France, and a halal butcher in Marseille. A French Muslim group, CFCM, said this signalled «a rise of racism and Islamophobia.»

«It’s getting tougher and tougher. It’s as if people have had something against us for a long time and now that the politicians are saying it, they are letting it all out,» said Mamadou Alpha Diallo, 73, outside a Paris mosque.
Muslims in France «have the impression that Islam is on trial,» added Dounia Bouzar, an anthropologist and high-profile commentator on Muslim affairs.
..
«Even people who have little connection to the Muslim faith feel they are being singled out and are having a very hard time during these debates on Islam,» said Azzedine Gaci, leader of a mosque in Villeurbanne, eastern France.
Amar Lasfar, the leader of a mosque in the northern city of Lille, said the veil issue was «very marginal» and was being blown out of proportion.
«Here in France they are concentrating on that as if it were the number one problem of Muslims and society,» he said, judging it «a side-issue that has been overdone in the media».
«It gives the impression that you see people wearing the burqa on every street corner… There is a feeling of exasperation among Muslims. They’re crying out ‘Leave us in peace!'»

French Muslims feel victimised by veil ban

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