Long ago I wrote that the headscarf ban was wrongheaded, as it was a cosmetic thing and not a confrontation of the forces that wish to remake French society. It looks as if I was wrong, and that the ban itself is becoming the spark of that very confrontation. From AFP, with thanks to Teri, Ali Dashti and Anthony:
PARIS, Sept 13 (AFP) – A Muslim policewoman in Paris has annoyed her superiors and stoked a national debate in France over Islamic headscarves after refusing to take off her own head covering on religious grounds, a police union said Monday.
The woman, a traffic officer identified only as Nora C., refused an order given August 25 to take off a small headscarf that she wears under her uniform cap, the union said, confirming a report in a news magazine, L’Express.
She reiterated her stance the next day when she met another superior officer, whose hand she declined to shake, the union, Synergie, said.
The union added that the woman, who is divorced with two children, was currently off work on medical leave.
The incident focused attention back on a controversial new law in France banning Islamic headscarves and other religious insignia in state schools in a bid to uphold the country’s strict secularity.