This Man Supports European Muslim Women by Paying Their Niqab Fines
In July 2010, Rachid Nekkaz created a fund for defending the freedom of Muslim women in wearing the islamic veil if they so choose. The fund started with one million euros to pay for fines some European governments impose on women who wear the niqab in public spaces. “I am not defending these women per se — but defending the principle of individual civil liberties that their actions currently embody” he explained.
Although he personally opposes the wearing of Niqab, he nevertheless considers that nobody has the right to prevent a person from wearing the dress of their choice as long as that dress is not a threat to the security or freedom of others. His commitment to this principle has already cost Rachid Nekkaz €245,000: So far se has paid 1146 fines in France, 261 in Belgium, 2 in Holland and 1 fine in Switzerland.
Deputies in the French parliament threathened him with jail time if he continues paying fines on behalf of Muslim women but the government vetoed their motions out of fears it would make Rachid a martyr in the eyes of French Muslims.
As much as Rachid Nekkaz defends the freedom to wear the Hijab, he also defends the freedom and choice of not wearing it. In September 19, 2013, he travelled to Khartoum in Sudan to urge the Sudanese government to abandon the practice of flogging and support a Muslim woman who was challenging Sudanese law by refusing to wear the hijab.