French politicians face civil suit in Hijab row


DM Monitoring

PARIS: The French woman at the centre of a new row over the wearing of an Islamic hijab in public places is taking legal action against the far-right politicians who criticised her, the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) said Thursday.

The controversy erupted last week when she wore a headscarf during a school trip with her son and other children to the regional parliament in Bourgogne-Franche-Comte in eastern France. Julien Odoul, a member of Marine Le Pen´s National Rally (RN) party, caused widespread outrage when he posted a video on Twitter of him confronting the woman. Citing “secular principles” in the wake of the killings in Paris this month of four police staff by a radicalised, he insisted that she remove her headscarf.
Members of the RN then walked out of the chamber before issuing a press statement denouncing “an Islamist provocation”.
The CCIF said the woman would file a complaint with prosecutors in the city of Dijon on Thursday over “violence of a racial nature committed… by persons with public authority.”
And a second complaint would be filed in Paris on Friday for “incitement of racial hatred,” CCIF said in a statement. The woman´s lawyer, Sana Ben Hadj, said her client had felt “humiliated” by the incident because images of her had been shared widely.