French-Algerian businessman fights burqa ban by paying fines

Can one rich man successfully fight the Danish legislation by peacefully paying fines in the name of freedom?

French-Algerian Businessman, Rachid Nekkaz, is taking ‘peaceful political action’ by paying the fines of those effected by the Danish government’s burqa ban, which came into effect in on August 1.

“I do it to defend civil rights and for the freedom to dress, as you please,” says Nekkaz, who made his fortune from a tech-startup and subsequently moved into real estate.

The burqa ban was allegedly put in effect for security reasons. It prohibits the use of burqas and other clothing – plus false beards – that fully cover the face in public areas. Those caught breaking the new law will be fined 1,200 kroner for a first offence. The fine has already been handed out to 3 people since the August 1.

It’s the context that counts
Aware of the possible safety considerations, Nekkaz emphasises the importance of the circumstances in which the fine was given and has invited anyone affected to approach him, so they can discuss the situation.

“The fines must be given for violations committed in fully public areas, such as the street as I’m not against the ban in shopping centers, airports and banks, added Nekkaz.

Since 2010, Nekkaz has paid 1,552 fines around Europe, amounting to 2.4 million kroner, in the name of fighting illiberal policy. He says he will continue to pay fines until “the government changes the law from fully public areas to only covering closed public areas, such as schools, hospitals and other major centres.”