News Agencies – September 22, 2011
Kenza Drider’s posters for the French presidential race are ready to go, months before the official campaign begins. There she is, the “freedom candidate,” pictured standing in front of a line of police – a forbidden veil hiding her face. Drider declared her candidacy in Meaux, the city east of Paris run by top conservative lawmaker and Sarkozy ally Jean-Francois Cope, who championed the ban.
Drider, 32, who has worn a face veil for 13 years, hasn’t shirked from denouncing the ban in the past. She was the only veiled woman to testify before an information commission of lawmakers studying a potential ban before the law was passed. With four children, Drider says she goes about the southern city of Avignon, where she lives, facing down insults but left alone by police.