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Muslim bride sues after order to remove headscarf

10 January 2012 General 35 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

A newly-wed Muslim couple are suing the mayor of Lyon after a local official insisted the bride remove her veil at the town hall wedding ceremony.

The bride, identified only as Nassima A., was asked to remove a veil which was covering her hair during her wedding ceremony at a town hall in Lyon in June.

“Nassima thought it was an order and did not think twice about removing her veil. She thought she had to do it to get married and took it off in front of everybody,” says her lawyer Gilles Devers in an interview with the French daily Liberation. He says she felt humuliated during the ceremony.

The deputy mayor of Lyon’s 9th district, Fatiha Ben Ahmed, who asked the bride to bare her hair, told the bride that she looked “very pretty” without a veil.

The couple are now suing the mayor of Lyon Gérard Collomb and demanding €50,000 in damages. The mayor says he is ready to negotiate with the couple and admits Ben Ahmed could have been more sensitive during Nassima’s wedding ceremony.

After the incident the local official Ben Ahmed said she had acted to defend the rights of women.

In France, officials who conduct wedding ceremonies are required to check the identities of the bride and groom. However in this case, Nassima’s veil was not covering her face.

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35 Comments »

  1. Wow that’s so rude!

  2. Rude, intrusive, and letz just say it, stupid.

  3. That is a serious descrimination case unless he makes Christian brides also remove their veils for the ceremony. What a crock of horseshit.

  4. Obviously religiously motivated because many brides of different faiths wear veils and are not required to remove them.

  5. I think people should wear whatever they want on their wedding

  6. Patriarchy in action. And he thinks it was ok to compliment her looks, too. Sigh….

  7. he had to ruin the big day -_-

  8. and if a christian went there wearing a scarf or a veil? i mean, hello, even non religious people wear veils to a WEDDING!!

  9. Ok is it only me who finds this story strange? 1. A man with a Muslim-y sounding name asking a Muslim woman to remove her head-covering? 2. A Muslim woman not even thinking twice about removing her “veil? 3. The idea of verifying identity by veil removal when the “veil” does not cover the face? 4. A man who is not her husband-to-be commenting on her looks at her wedding? 5. No Muslim official there to conduct the ceremony and at least try to prevent this? 6. What was the groom doing?

  10. Fatiha Ben Ahmed???? Defending womens rights?? How sick is she!!!

  11. In most European countries, couples must get married at a government office, which is the official wedding. They can also have a religious ceremony if they choose, so there wouldn’t have been a Muslim official there.

  12. I hope she does sue but I wish Muslims woul
    d try and show some backbone if the judge said to take off your blouse would she do that aswell just say ill get married buy another judge or better yet go to the masjid and get married as long your married in the way Islam says then you are married

  13. Cynthia is right. In order to be married by law, you must have a civil ceremony and the officiators of the wedding are usually not Muslim. Though in this woman’s case it sounds like there is a chance of him being a Muslim due to the country being France and the North African name. Of course, even if he is a Muslim, the ceremony would not be a religious one..

  14. Even if it is a civil ceremony instead of a religious wedding, she should still be able to dress as she likes. They had no right asking her to remove her veil

  15. As a Wedding Officiant, I find it appalling that no one stood up for this Bride. Most brides wear veils, so this request was simply rediculous. Everyone deserves to have their wedding reflect their own personalities and their own belief systems.

  16. Wow….. she shouldn’t sue. They didn’t force her to remove it…. seriously?

  17. People, what is wrong with you? It is sunnah and absolutelly rightfull to aks niqabi woman to identify herself on occasion of signing a treaty and wedding is such a treaty. Actually, the non muslim mayor was acting better on sunnah than her.

  18. @Vergeri, u need to read the article before commenting. she was not wearing a niqab(face covering), but a hijab (head covering).

  19. @Sam, Fatiha Ben Ahmed is a woman. I agree that the story is strange, but you’re use of the phrase “a Muslim-y sounding name,” to me, seems more odd.

  20. No big deal.
    While in Europe, live within its laws.
    Added to that, over 60 % Nth Africans are on social welfare.
    75% delinquents are Muslims.
    If it’s not good enough,
    go back where you see fit, for getting more social benefits and freedom than in Europe!

  21. Well us Christians who believe In our lord have had all of our rights stripped away I’n order not to offend any one so why should any one else get special treatment. No prayers I’n schools no pledge no I’n god we trust! So get the flip over it

  22. Should’ve told ben ahmed to go to hell.

  23. i think she was stupid to have taken it off in the first place, the court shud probably think so too. the goof who asked her too take off her scarf shudv taken her blouse off cirst too.

  24. cindy what are you talking about?

  25. Isn’t that nice! The official thought she was defending the rights of women! Sarcasm here!! My goodness, how ironic, a woman has reproductive rights but no right to dress as she wishes for her wedding according to her religious views or personal preferences or styles? Is the average non-muslim bride required to remove her beautiful white wispy couture veil in the same setting??? How about leaving this woman’s right alone, to wear what she wants for this special occasion!! Government is getting involved in regulating way too much!! Give it a rest!!!! Mubarak to the newly-weds! May Allah bless their lives together.

  26. Isn’t that nice! The official thought she was defending the rights of women! Sarcasm here!! My goodness, how ironic, a woman has reproductive rights but no right to dress as she wishes for her wedding according to her religious views or personal preferences or styles? Is the average non-muslim bride required to remove her beautiful white wispy couture veil in the same setting??? How about leaving this woman’s right alone, to wear what she wants for this special occasion!! Government is getting involved in regulating way too much!! Give it a rest!!!! Mubarak to the newly-weds! May Allah bless their lives together.

  27. Yeah, Cindy, sounds like you have not gotten over it!

  28. @Umar..”Muslim-y” is my own slang based on the rejection of Arab names automatically being assumed as Muslim names. FATIHA?… IBN[BEN]?.AHMED[MUHAMMED]?That’s a muslim name. AND why would a woman be named ben or ibn anyone, which means “son of”, rather than bint? That is why I assumed it was a man and not a woman. I am sorry but this story sounds very strange and to those making excuses I don’t know what to tell you. The elements do not add up to a coherent narrative. Even with the civil ceremony requirement something seems off here. InshaAllah I will wait for more details.

  29. If I have to give up my rights as a American indian so why should other people get rights screw u

  30. In the UK Muslims get married in the mosque and there is segregation so the opposite genders dont see each other anyway.

  31. Yep the same in Texas. We do not have these kind of problems. I guess once Sharia Law will be used in here, things will be better, Americans will convert more to ISlam and life will be lovely. -:)

  32. anon, Somalia is full of thugs, In islam if you kill a woman for not wearing the hijab then it is considered murder and you will be killed! you know this, but you are just playing with feelings here!

  33. There are probably Salafis and MB out there that think it is the proper thing to do. I read that in Egypt women voted for them thinking they are pure and clean.

    Secularists did not go out into the countryside to explain their views and small wonder, they might have been shot as “impure”.

  34. Somalia has thugs? Everybody has thugs. Question is are they under control?

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