French veil ban draws jihadist wrath


NICOSIA – Members of Arabic-language jihadist forums have called for war on France over its ban on niqabs, the full-face coverings worn by ultra-conservative Muslim women, a US-based web service said Wednesday.
The draconian new law, the first to be enforced in Europe, went into effect on Monday. Wearing the niqab or burka, a head-to-toe body covering, is now banned in the street, public gardens, shops and government buildings.
In messages on a number of threads, contributors posted calls to punish France for what was perceived as an anti-Islamic law, including calls for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to carry out operations to deter France, the SITE Intelligence Group said.
One exchange on Monday called for “members to declare war against France”, while another expressed hope that “Al Qaeda has dispatched operatives to France to attack the country”. One forum member said France had proved itself hostile to Muslims, also singling out Britain and the US, and asking “Allah to expedite His just punishment for these criminals.”
The discussions focused on a proposed internet horror campaign and on raising funds that would cover the fines incurred by women who defy the ban and help pay for attacks in France, SITE said.