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The video: In a controversial clip, two young French women, one of them Muslim, stroll around Paris in heels, hot pants, and niqabs — the Islamic veils which conceal a woman's entire face save for her eyes and will soon be subject to fines under France's recently approved burqas-in-public ban. With their sexy bare legs and covered up tops, the two (who've dubbed themselves the "NiqaBitches") draw curious stares, admiring glances, and cell-phone paparazzi.
The reaction:
In an opinion piece on the French website, rue89, the anonymous duo behind the video say "we were not looking to attack or degrade the image of Muslim fundamentalists — each to their own — but rather to question politicians who voted for this law that we consider clearly unconstitutional." This is "a brilliant piece of guerrilla theatre," says Wendy McElroy at WendyMcElroy.com. "It is heartening to see people defend the right of another culture to express peaceful attitudes that they do not personally share." Nonsense, says Jonathon Narvey in The Propagandist. This misguided attempt at female solidarity ignores the "legitimate concern" behind the burqa ban, namely that "burqas and niqabs represent an insidious threat to civil society." Watch it for yourself: