There is no bigger threat to cultural and religious harmony than expecting someone to abide by your laws and fit in the definition of what you call as ‘right’. But this forceful imposition does exist in all societies and unfortunately, even in today’s rapidly advancing world, we have failed to practically reject it.
To be respected and acknowledged is a human’s basic right and while few completely consider it insignificant, there are few people who are doing all they can to protect it.
One of them is Algerian businessman, social and political activist, Rachid Nekkaz, who pays the fine of women who choose to wear a niqab or complete hijab or Islamic full-veil and are fined for it because the laws restrict it. Nekkaz says that he himself is against wearing the niqab as well, but he believes that imposing it on someone invades their right to independence and liberty.
If you are a woman in living in France and are seen wearing a niqab in the street, you are vulnerable to being fined by a hefty amount of approximately 150 euro. Yes, you heard it right! Similarly, if you choose to wear a burqini on a beach, you can be fined by about $43.
Rachid says that even if he doesn’t agree with the concept of the niqab, the laws are ‘profoundly liberty-threatening’.
“I am not defending these women per se — but defending the principle of individual civil liberties that their actions currently embody,“ Rachid Nekkaz says.
In his effort to neutralize extremism, he has moved across France as well and has paid a total of 1165 fines in France, 268 fines in Belgium, one in Switzerland and two in the Netherlands.
He was also seen protesting with women outside Danish parliament on March 9, 2018, against the new proposal of banning full-veil and is still standing firm with his cause. Nekkaz says he has paid a total fine of 245,000 euros with attorneys fee.
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