Rachid Nekkaz has made good on his 2010 promise to set up a fund to pay the fines for women ‘illegally’ wearing the burqa in France. The property developer businessman was incensed when Sarkozy introduced the controversial legislation, which has since been enacted and passed into law.
Along with the majority of France’s 5 million muslims, Nekkaz is furious at the governments persecution of his religion. Roughly 2,000 French muslim women wear the veil, and even with such a small minority being affected by this law, the Muslim population have been outraged at its introduction.
Although the fund was originally intended to help the women of France, it has expanded and the new intention is to help women all across the globe in all countries where laws are passed to ban the wearing of Islamic veils or burqas in public. Nekkaz recently travelled to Belgium to pay 100 Euros for 2 women who were the first people to be fined since the law was adopted there. On the same day he also paid a 75 Euro fine for a woman in the French town of Roubaix.
By paying the fines for the women, Nekkaz intends to render the law ineffective and humiliate the politicians. Even though he personally disagrees with the veil, he believes it is a womans free choice and doesn’t want them to be afraid to go outside wearing their veils, and believes in a democratic society that all women should be able to move freely in the streets without interference.
Nekkaz was born in France to Algerian parents, so he is a shining example of a modern muslim who has integrated into French society. He describes the burqa ban laws introduced by Sarkozy in France to be 100% politically motivated, while his critics also form the same arguement against him and claim he started the fund to draw attention to his own bid to be the president of France.
The ultimate goal is to have all anti-burqa legislation rescinded, and Nekkaz is also working towards that by putting the issue to the European Court of Human Rights. Other campaigners have also launched legal challenges in France and Belgium thus far, and their hopes may hinge on the laws being deemed as unconstitutional. Muslims around the world thank Rachid Nekkaz for his efforts, and hope that he can achieve success and eliminate these laws.