As President Sarkozy struggles to outlaw the head-to-toe covering called the burqa for its role in the oppression of women, the case of the Muslim driver fined 22 euros has taken a new and interesting turn.
French Minister of the Interior Brice Hortefeux has jumped into the fray, saying that the husband of the woman fined for driving with a visibility-reducing niqab belongs to an Islamic movement that practices polygamy, which is illegal in France.
According to Le Figaro, Mr. Hortefeux discovered that the husband has four wives and 12 children, all of which receive subsidies meant for single parents from the French government. The welfare payment, called the allocation de parent isole, is often paid to the children of polygamous fathers who have immigrated from Africa or North Africa, although this is technically illegal and considered fraud in France.
The Minister of the Interior has declared his intention to revoke the husband’s citizenship for polygamy and welfare fraud.
This opens a new front in France’s battle to define itself with respect to the more radical elements of its Islamic immigrant population.