Despite being passed in April, the ban on the veil has been more or less completely ignored by French Muslims and French police alike. Not even a hundred women breaking the law have been stopped by police since its passage. The police can in any case do no more than send on a file. Of these, ‘fewer than ten’ are considered active by the French Ministry for Justice. Even by the febrile standards of the routinely hysterical multicultural left, the alleged-wave of persecution against French Muslims is an exceptionally extravagant fantasy.Referring to a case that saw an actual conviction this week, Waghorne surmises the muslima in question is more than delighted at her conviction. She has already announced her intention to appeal to the French Supreme Court and then if necessary to the European Court of Human Rights in order to get the law annulled entirely. If successful it would be definitive proof France does no more have the will or even the ability to rule it's own house.
The situation is all the more jarring when compared to what Waghorne believes to be the real scandal: State-supported suppression of free-speech. One only has to glance at how France treats anyone with an unkind word about the religion.
When, a few years ago, a philosophy teacher by the name of Robert Redeker wrote in Le Figaro newspaper that Muhammad was ‘a merciless warlord, a looter, a mass-murderer of Jews and a polygamist’ and that the Koran is ‘a book of incredible violence’ he was quickly forced into hiding after credible death-threats. Instead of the French Republic rallying to the support of free speech and the basic liberties of one of its citizens, he faced an extraordinary wave of elite condemnation for having ventured to speak of Islam in such terms in the first place. The cravenness of the response is all the more stark given that both were statements of historical fact.Which leads to the conclusion that the French ban on the burqa is a law that is not. The refusal of muslims and authorities alike to uphold it have turned it into an impotent bit of legislation, a transparent ploy by the French political class to make a wholly insincere gesture it has not the slightest intention of honouring in practice.
This isn't an exclusively French issue, of course. Such fake symbol politics can be observed around Europe, feeding the already festering, but still subdued, rage of the citizenry. Are our elites really that stupid and incompetent that even through the wall of their self-chosen bubble, they don't see the rough shape of the horrific cataclysm they are building?