[UPDATED] BURQA BRAWL: 60-year-old French woman rips headbag off 26-year-old Muslim woman

Police were forced to break up a fight in a French clothing shop after a 60-year-old female lawyer ripped the Islamic veil off a 26-year-old Muslim woman and told her to ‘go back to your own country.’

UK DAILY MAILThe 26-year-old Muslim convert said the 60-year-old lawyer made ‘snide remarks’ about her Islamic veil. An argument followed during which the older woman is said to have ripped the veil off, before the Muslim woman allegedly punched her.

(Would you even  let these things into your store?)

Both women were arrested. The row happened in Trignac, near Nantes, France, as the country prepares to introduce a ban on the burka.

A police officer said: ‘The lawyer said she was not  happy seeing a fellow shopper wearing a veil and wanted the ban introduced as soon as possible.’

At one point the lawyer, who was out with her daughter, is said to have likened the Muslim woman to Belphegor – a horror demon character well known to French television viewers. The lawyer’s use of the name ‘Belphegor’ was particularly inflammatory, said police, because the demon was portrayed by classical writers as ‘Hell’s ambassador to France’.

Belphegor, who hates human beings, is usually portrayed as a monstrous demon with horns and pointed nails, but frequently disguises himself. During a period in Paris, Belphegor was said to live with a group of vampires in the Louvre.

Police said the incident was still being investigated, and that charges could follow. A spokesman for Trignac police said that ‘two complaints had been received’, with the Muslim woman accusing the lawyer of racial and religious assault. The latter, in turn, had accused her opponent of common assault.

The French parliament has adopted a formal motion declaring burkas and other forms of Islamic dress to be ‘an affront to the nation’s values’.

Some have accused criminals of wearing veils to disguise themselves. This includes everything from terrorists to minor shop lifters.

A ban, which could be introduced as early as autumn, would make France the second country after Belgium to outlaw the Islamic veil in public places.

But many have criticised the anti-burka lobby, which includes President Nicolas Sarkozy, for stigmatising Muslim housewives.

Many French women from council estates are forced to wear the veils because of pressure from authoritarian husbands.

The promise of a ban has prompted warnings of racial tensions in a country which is home to some five million Muslims – one of the religion’s largest communities in Europe.

Mr Sarkozy’s cabinet is to examine a draft bill which will impose one-year prison sentences and fines of up to £14,000 on men who force their wives to wear a burqa.

Women themselves will face a smaller fine of just over £100 because they are ‘often victims with no choice in the matter,’ says the draft.

The law would create a new offence of ‘incitement to cover the face for reasons of gender’.

And it would state: ‘No-one may wear in public places clothes that are aimed at hiding the face.’

Women would not be ‘unveiled’ in the street but instead taken to a police station to be formally identified, the draft law states.

"Come any closer and I'll blow myself up"

HOORAY! Paris Court hands woman suspended one-month sentence for veil attack!

UK GUARDIAN 60 YEAR OLD Jeanne Ruby bit, slapped and scratched Middle Eastern woman who was wearing face-covering Muslim veil.

The court also ordered Jeanne Ruby to pay €800 (£698) in damages to the victim, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. (That was stupid)

Ruby had been charged with aggravated violence, and the prosecutor had asked that she be given a two-month suspended sentence. The incident – in which Ruby bit, slapped and scratched her victim – happened in a shop in the French capital in February.

In a recent interview with Le Parisien newspaper, Ruby compared the niqab to a “muzzle” and said she did not mean to harm the woman and had wanted to pull the veil off.