This is Rachid Nekkaz, the French businessman who announced he will pay all fines for women who are charged with wearing the niqab — not just in France but “in whatever country in the world that bans women from doing so”.
The niqab is a filmy cloth attached to the headscarf that covers all but the eyes. Any woman found to be wearing the niqab in France in public can be fined upto €150 ($200) and ordered to attend ‘re-education classes’. Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland all have — or are planning — similar legislation.
I’m in favour of a law to convict a husband who forces a women to wear the niqab and who forces her to stay at home. But I’m also for a law that lets these women move freely in the streets, because freedom of movement, just like any freedom, is the most fundamental thing in a democracy.
He is pictured above with Kenza Drider, the longshot “freedom candidate” for French presidency, after accompanying her to a police tribunal in Paris where she appeared for violating France’s niqab ban. Drider told The Associated Press in an interview:
When a woman wants to maintain her freedom, she must be bold. I have the ambition today to serve all women who are the object of stigmatization or social, economic or political discrimination. It is important that we show that we are here, we are French citizens and that we, as well, can bring solutions to French citizens.
Nekkaz put up a €2m ($2.5m) property to fund his campaign.
Photo credit: Getty
Ball so hard motherfuckers wanna fine me
I applaud this man. Forever. This guy knows: if you have money to spare, use it for good things.
Even families legally entitled to be in the country are being caught. Cineo Gonzalez was shocked a few weeks ago when his six-year-old daughter came home from school carrying a printout. It gave details of HB56 and its implications, under the heading: “Frequent questions about the immigration law.”
Gonzalez is a US permanent resident, having come from Mexico more than 20 years ago. His daughter is an American citizen, having been born in Alabama. Both are entirely legal. Yet she was one of only two children in her class – both Hispanic in appearance – who were given the printout.
Why was she singled out, Gonzalez asked the deputy head teacher. “Because we gave the printout to children we thought were not from here,” came the reply.
Scores of protesters were arrested in Manhattan Saturday as a march against social inequality turned violent.
Hundreds of people carrying banners and chanting “shame, shame” walked between Zuccotti Park, near Wall St., and Union Square calling for changes to a financial system they say unjustly benefits the rich and harms the poor.
At least 80 people were carted away in police vehicles and up to five were hit with pepper spray near 12th St. and Fifth Ave., where tensions became especially high, police and organizers said.
The National Lawyer’s Guild, which is providing legal assistance to the protesters, put the number of arrests at 100.
Witnesses said they saw three stunned women collapse on the ground screaming after they were sprayed in the face.
A video posted on YouTube and NYDailyNews.com shows uniformed officers had corralled the women using orange nets when two supervisors made a beeline for the women, and at least one suddenly sprayed the women before turning and quickly walking away.
Footage of other police altercations also circulated online, but it was unclear what caused the dramatic mood shift in an otherwise peaceful demonstration.
“I saw a girl get slammed on the ground. I turned around and started screaming,” said Chelsea Elliott, 25, from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who said she was sprayed. “I turned around and a cop was coming … we were on the sidewalk and we weren’t doing anything illegal.”
Police said 80 protesters were arrested or ticketed at multiple locations for disorderly conduct, blocking traffic and failure to obey a lawful order but the number could rise.
If the NYPD’s excuse for this disgusting behavior — which should make decent police officers anywhere cringe with shame — is that the protestors didn’t have a permit, then fuck that. Of course, Mayor Bloomberg is probably off in Bermuda on his usual weekend getaway, so neither he nor his police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, won’t have to be held accountable for these wanton acts of police brutality until Monday. At least.
(Photo: Jefferson Siegel / Daily News)
Norway Attacks News Round Up:
Oslo Bombing: A bomb that exploded today near the Oslo offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg claimed the lives of at least 7 people and injured several others, some seriously. The Prime Minister was not in the building at the time and is currently in a safe location.
Summer Camp Shooting: A shooting incident involving a Norwegian-looking gunman disguised as a police officer took place on the island of Utøya at a gathering of the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing, where Stoltenberg was reportedly due to speak tomorrow (former PM Gro Harlem Brundtland was due to attend today). Nine, “perhaps ten” killed, according to police.
Connection: Police believe the attacks are related; AP: Man arrested at Utøya linked to Oslo bombing.
Body Count: The death toll in both incidents is expected to rise, with witnesses reporting at least 20 dead at Utøya youth camp.
Weapon: Some reports suggest the explosion may have been set off by a car bomb; multiple explosions have also been reported; police have asked residents to stay away from the city center for fear that unexploded bombs may be present.
Responsibility: An obscure terrorist group called Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (Assistants of the Global Jihad) has claimed responsibility for the attacks, calling them retribution for Norway’s “occupation of Afghanistan” as well as “unnamed insults to the Muslim prophet Muhammad”; others have speculated that the attacks, if carried out by al-Qaeda, were likely acts of revenge for the death of Osama bin Laden’s death, involvement in Afghanistan, and/or retaliation for Danish Muhammad cartoons republished in a Norwegian newspaper; an al-Qaeda bomb plot against Norway was uncovered last year.
Reax: President Obama expressed his condolences, adding that the attacks offer “a reminder that the entire community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring”; Swedish FM: “We are all Norwegians.”
Old People Line Up To Clean Radiation in Japan
Mr. Yamada: “I am 72 and on average I probably have 13 to 15 years left to live. Even if I were exposed to radiation, cancer could take 20 or 30 years or longer to develop. Therefore us older ones have less chance of getting cancer.”
Basically a group of 200+ retirees are volunteering to expose themselves to high levels of radiation so the younger men and women don’t have to.
Making the ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives of their children, and their children’s children.
Long Form Birth Certificate of the Day: In an effort to put an end to the birther debate once and for all, the President reached out to the Hawaii State Department of Health to request an exception to allow the release of his long form birth certificate in the name of putting the “fake issue” of his citizenship to rest.
The White House has now made that birth certificate available to the public via the White House website. In addition, the President is expected to make an official statement on the matter shortly.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer: “The President’s hope is that with this step, we can move on to debating the bigger issues that matter to the American people and the future of the country.”
The White House just told the birthers to shut the fuck up, but in a nicer way.
This is disgusting.
Why the fuck did this even have to happen?
It’s disappointing that all this happened, but I appreciate the tone of the tweet.
RIP: 41-year-old British-born filmmaker and photojournalist Tim Hetherington, co-director of the Oscar-nominated Afghanistan war documentary Restrepo, was killed today when an RPG struck a group of journalists in the Libyan city of Misrata.
Three others were also injured in the attack: Pulitzer Prize-nominated Getty photographer Chris Hondros, Panos Agency photographer Guy Martin — both of whom are said to be in serious condition — and freelancer Michael Brown, who was slightly wounded.
In his final tweet, posted just hours before the attack, Hetherington wrote: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”
(Above: Tim Hetherington (right), alongside fellow Restrepo director Sebastian Junger.)