Polygamy the same as having a mistress, Muslim butcher Hebbadj tells France
Charles Bremner; 27/4/10
President Sarkozy’s campaign against full Islamic veils took a comic turn yesterday when a Muslim butcher claimed that his wives were no different from the mistresses that Frenchmen traditionally enjoyed. Lies Hebbadj, 35, was defending himself after the Government made him a national example by citing his supposed polygamy as an illustration of un-French ways. He came to attention when a police officer in Nantes fined his wife euros 22 for driving while dressed in a niqab. Brice Hortefeux, the Interior Minister, demanded that Mr Hebbadj, who was born in Algeria, be stripped of his French nationality. The butcher said: “If we are stripped of nationality for having mistresses there would be a lot of French people stripped of nationality.” Mr Hebbadj has become an unwitting symbol for both sides in the row over Mr Sarkozy’s plans for a law, to be tabled in Parliament next month, that will bar women from covering their faces in public.