FRANCE: Muslim baghead who defies French burqa ban will run against Nicolas Sarkozy for President

Sorry, Sweetums, President Sarkozy will just throw your big, fat muslim ass in jail for defying the ban. Go campaign behind bars.

 UK DAILY MAIL (H/T Maria) One of the first women to be arrested for breaking France’s burka ban today announced that she was standing for President. Kenza Drider, a 32-year-old mother of four, put forward her candidacy on the day she attended a court hearing to support two other women who became the first to be fined for the offence.

She was arrested outside the town hall in the Paris suburb of Meaux on May 5 while carrying an almond cake to celebrate the birthday of the local mayor, Jean-Francois Cope. Cope is also head of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party, and one of the architects of the ban.

Almond sounds like ‘amende’, the French word for fine, and the women wanted to use the ‘joke’ cake to highlight the absurdity of a law which they say has increased anti-Muslim feeling across France.

‘That’s the reason I am standing for President’, said Ms Drider, who comes from the southern city of Avignon, and who has worn the veil for the past 13 years. Ms Drider will take on Mr Sarkozy as an independent in next year’s general election, and will be bankrolled by a number of influential pro-Islam support groups and influential millionaires. They include Rachid Nekkaz, a tycoon property developer, who is set to pay Ms Amas and Ms Ali’s fines.

After the fines were handed down at the criminal court in Meaux today, Mr Nekkaz said he would help fund an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, after arguing that they are unconstitutional. This could see the ban overturned, and the French government reduced to a laughing stock.

It will all come as a particular embarrassment for Mr Sarkozy, who hoped that the ban would be a victory for those trying to maintain the secular nature of modern France. Instead he has been widely accused of stigmatising women in burkas and niqabs so as to win votes from the extreme right before the general election.

The cases have been watched closely across Europe, where countries including Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland are planning their own bans.

Belgium introduced one this summer, punishable not just by a fine but seven days in prison, while in Italy , the far-right Northern League has resuscitated a 1975 law against face coverings. One has not yet been advanced in Britain, although there is support for one in the UK Independence Party, and among Tory backbenchers.

A spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry confirmed that 91 women have been stopped for wearing burkas since the ban was introduced, with less than a tenth of these cases going to court.