French 'burka rage' teacher faces jail after ripping off Muslim woman's face veil

Paris, Oct 15 (ANI): A retired teacher is facing three years in prison for ripping off a Muslim's face veil in the world's first known case of 'burka rage' in France.

According to the Daily Mail, 63-year-old Jeanne Ruby appeared before the Paris Correctional Court on Thursday to defend her attack on Shaika al-Suwaidi, 26, who is originally from the United Arab Emirates.

The incident took place in February this year when both the women were shopping in a market suburb of the French capital, with Ruby claiming: "For me the wearing of the veil is an aggressive act, there is no burka in my country."

A few minutes later she reportedly started hitting al-Suwaidi, who refused to take her veil off and shouted after succeeding saying, "Now I can see your face." The act was so violent that security guards had to ultimately separate the women, with one describing the fight as being motivated by 'pure burka rage', the paper said.

The case has come at a sensitive time as France has just banned the burka and the niqab following a public debate over two years.

According to the police report, Ruby who taught in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, admitted saying, "I knew I would crack one day, this whole saga of the burka was really getting to me. I told her to take off the veil she had on her face. I grabbed and pulled it. We came to blows. I was very upset."l-Suwaidi suffered cuts and bruises and was so upset that she left for the UAE for sometime before returning for the hearing.

The paper quoted a legal source involved in the case, as saying that although Ruby claimed that it was not allowed to wear the burka in France, as a matter of fact no such ban was in place in February and even if it was, it would not be up to people to make citizen's arrests.

Lotfi Ouled Ben Hafsia, for al-Suwaidi, said his client had been living in Paris for three years, but would never return because of the 'racist attack'.

The case is still continuing.

It is now a criminal offence to wear a burka in France, and women could be even face a prison sentence or be fined if they violate that the law, which is due to be enforced in six months time. (ANI)

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