French Muslim Billionaire Willing to Suffer Tragic Fate to Defend Muslims

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The use of Muslim clothing in France is treated sensitively by the government. Since 2009, the government has officially banned the wearing of the burqa in public. Burqa is a woman's clothing that covers the entire body, from head to toe including the eyes.

Times said the ban was carried out purely for security reasons. This is because, from the government's point of view, Islam is associated with terrorist activities, even though this connection is unfounded. If Muslims continue to wear the burqa, the government will impose a penalty of €150 or the equivalent of IDR 2.5 million.

Practically, this action limits the movement of Muslim women. Many of them are caught in fines, which for Muslim families are quite large. This space became increasingly limited when the French government banned the use of burkinis in 2016.

Burkini is an acronym for burqa and bikini. This is usually used by Muslim women who want to swim at open beaches. The government imposed a fine of €38 or IDR 600 thousand.

Luckily, in the midst of this baseless discrimination, Rasyid Nikkaz emerged who fought back and tried to help Muslim women who were fined.

Quote Washington Post, Nikkaz is a technology start-up owner, property entrepreneur and human rights activist with French and Algerian citizenship. It is not known exactly how rich he is, but what is certain is that he owns many companies in France.

Since the ban on clothing for Muslim women was implemented in 2009, Nikkaz has consistently been on the side of Muslims. According to him, these restrictions are very unfair and far-fetched. He also went against this rule by paying all the fines that ensnared Muslim women.

“I decided to pay all fines for women who wear the burkini to guarantee their freedom to wear the garment, and most importantly, to neutralize the implementation of the burkini on the basis of this oppressive and unjust law,” Nekkaz told CNN International, quoted Monday (18/3/2024).

Not half-hearted, Nekkaz was willing to spend millions of euros or IDR 16-17 billion from his personal pocket to pay fines for Muslim women. This does not take into account attorney fees and so on. It is recorded that he has paid 1,165 fines in France, 268 fines in Belgium, two fines in the Netherlands and one fine in Switzerland.

All of this was paid directly to the relevant government as a form of resistance. And thanks to this positive step, hundreds of women are already on the waiting list to have their fines paid by Nekkaz.

Unfortunately, this effort was met with resistance from the government. To Washington Post, Nekkaz said that the government repeatedly found fault with him. Nekkaz became the object of a tax audit by an international company hired by the government. Not only that, the government also tried to throw him in prison for trying to help those who violated the dress code.

In the end, all this pressure forced Nekkaz to be expelled from France. In 2013, he decided to revoke his French passport because he no longer wanted to be affiliated with a country that violated the principles of individual freedom. Now, she lives in Algeria and still helps Muslim women who are caught in fines for wearing the veil and burqa to this day.

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