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Ni Putes Ni Soumises Organizes a Protest Against the Burqa

DSCN1653 Text and images: Sarah Braasch

Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS), a women’s rights organization located in Paris, organized a protest on Monday, January 25th, against the burqa and in support of an anticipated parliamentary bill to ban the burqa in France.  NPNS was created as a response to the egregious violence being perpetrated against the women and girls of the cités or quartiers in the banlieues (ghettoized suburban housing projects surrounding France’s major cities that are predominantly composed of marginalized Muslim immigrant communities).

The burqa is a full body covering while the niqab is a face covering, which exposes only the eyes.  The potential law to ban the burqa and the niqab in public spaces and buildings has been a hotly contested issue in France for many months. The Parliament has been investigating the matter, including the possible effects of a ban.  Recently, France’s Socialist Party, the opposition party, revealed their intent to vote against any law banning the burqa and/or niqab in public. 

Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores Nor Submissives) fights for women’s rights as universal human rights without compromise. They condemn cultural relativism and obscurantism. They support a public burqa ban in France. They are unequivocal in their repudiation of both the burqa and niqab as barbaric patriarchal cultural traditions that have absolutely nothing to do with Islam. 

On Monday morning, 20 NPNS women’s rights activists donned black burqas and stood silently in front of the gates of the Socialist Party’s offices in Paris with pink placards denouncing the burqa. The President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises, Sihem Habchi, left a burqa, a letter and a rose on the sidewalk in front of the gates. Ms. Habchi clearly stated her purpose to the press when she said, “We came to tell the progressive forces of France not to abandon women to the violence of the obscurantists.”

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Silly socialists. They should be INITIATING a burkha ban, not opposing one. Bravo, NPNS!

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