Two French female students calling themselves “Niqabitches” have made a film of themselves strolling through the streets of Paris in a niqab, bare legs and mini-shorts as a way to protest France’s recently passed law against wearing niqab in public.
The two communication students in their twenties can be seen strutting past prime ministerial offices and various government ministries wearing their outfit consisting of a black veil, exposed legs and black high heels. According to the women, the film was made as a tongue-in-cheek way of criticizing France’s niqab ban, which the Senate passed last month and is due to go into force early next year.
“To put a simple burka on would have been too simple. So we asked ourselves: ‘how would the authorities react when faced with women wearing a burka and mini-shorts?,” asked the students, one of whom is a Muslim. “We were not looking to attack or degrade the image of Muslim fundamentalists – each to their own – but rather to question politicians who voted for this law that we consider clearly unconstitutional,” they said. “To dictate what we wear appears to have become the role of the State (as if they didn’t have other fish to fry …).”
Once the law is in force, a woman who chooses to defy the ban will receive a fine of 150 euros (£125) or a course of citizenship lessons. A man who forces a woman to go veiled will be fined 30,000 euros (£25,000) and serve a jail term. It could yet be overturned by France’s constitutional court.