Activists Hit Anna Wintour With Tofu Pie

Animal rights activists hit Vogue editor Anna Wintour with a tofu cream pie after she left a fashion show in Paris, France.

This is the second time this year that activists have hit Wintour with a pie, also hitting Wintour before a Chanel show in Paris.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was quick to condemn Wintour, with PETA’s Yvonne Taylor saying,

Wintour is fur-bearing animals’ worst enemy because her magazine continues to feature dozens of pages of pro-fur editorials and advertising every year. She takes big glossy advertisements for fur and she refuses to run any anti-fur ads, even paid ones, so she’s a big fur supporter.

Hmmm…I guess then it would be okay to throw things at Ingrid Newkirk because PETA does not accept pro-fur advertisements in any of its publications.


Anti-fur group cream pies American Vogue’s Wintour. Reuters, October 8, 2005.

Editor faces tofu fur fury. The Weekend Australian, October 10, 2005.

France Fails In Initial Effort to Overturn European Union Ban on Cosmetics Testing

In March, the Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice rejected an appeal by France to overturn a planned Europe-wide ban on cosmetics testing with animals that is scheduled to take effect in 2009.

France is home to a large cosmetics industry and claims that the ban would violate international trade agreements since it not only bans cosmetics testing on animals within the European Union, but also bans the import of cosmetics from outside the European Union that have been tested on animals.

France will appeal further and a final decision one way or another isn’t expected until later this year.

According to the Press Association, about 38,000 animals are used annually in cosmetics-related testing.


French challenge to animal cosmetics test ban fails. Geoff Meade, Press Association, March 17, 2005.

French Appeals Court Rules Driver Can’t Be Charged With Killing Pregnant Woman’s Fetus

A French appeals court ruled in February that a driver who caused the death of a pregnant woman and the fetus she was carrying cannot be charged with two counts of manslaughter in the accident.

In October 2003, a van driven by Kevin Germon, 30, struck a car that Florinda Braganca, 34, was riding in. Braganca, who was 22 weeks pregnant, was killed instantly.

Germon was sentenced to one year in jail for his role in the accident, but prosecutors sought to charge him in the death of the 22-week-old fetus as well. They argued that the law should recognize that the fetus was “a human being from the moment of conception.”

But the appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that the fetus could not be considered a crime victim, barring prosecution of Germon on a possible second manslaughter charge.

The oddest thing about this case is the relatively short sentence Germon received for killing Braganca, especially given that drug tests found cannabis in his system at the time of the accident.


French unborn death ‘not a crime’. The BBC, February 17, 2005.

French court rejects ‘homicide’ of unborn foetus. Agence France Presse, February 17, 2005.

France Deports Imam Who Defended Domestic Violence

After a miscue earlier this year, in October France deported Muslim imam Abdelkader Bouziane after Bouziane made comments in defense of domestic violence in a magazine interview.

Bouziane, who has Algerian citizenship, was quoted in Lyon Magazine in early 2004 as saying that “beating your wife is authorized by the Koran.”

Bouziane was arrested in February and deported in April for inciting violence against women. That deportation was overruled by courts, however, and Bouziane was allowed to re-enter the country in May. The government appealed that ruling and on October 4 a higher administrative court ruled that the deportation order was proper, and Bouziane was arrested and put on a flight to Algeria on October 5.

Bouziane’s lawyer told Agence-France Presse that his client disputed the accuracy of the quotes in the interview saying, “Mr. Bouziane contests the passages which caused trouble or infuriated women in France, for he was only making reference to the Koran.”

Mohamed Bechari, the head of the National Federation of French Muslims, told Agence-France Presse that his organization did not approve of the comments attributed to Bouziane,

The associations should sack imams like him. We condemn this type of slip, which shows a fundamentalist reading of the Koranic text that is not part of Islam nor the Muslims in France.

Bechari added that Bouziane’s views do not reflect those of the general population of Muslims in France.


France deports controversial imam. The BBC, October 5, 2004.

Imam’s claim that wife-beating is Koranic earns him deportation from France. Agence-France Presse, April 21, 2004.

Radical Muslim Cleric, Deported For Backing Wife-Beating, Returns To France. Agence-France Presse, May 22, 2004.

France Deports Muslim Cleric Who ‘Defended Wife-Beating’. Jean-Pierre Benoit, Agence France Presse, October 6, 2004.

France Delays Foie Gras Cage Ban Until 2010

According to UK newspaper The Guardian, France has angered animal rights activists by giving its 6,000 foie gras producers until at least 2010 to comply with a European Union ruling that requires the elimination of individual cages known as epinettes. The cages are criticized for their small, cramped size

The Guardian quoted a spokeswoman for the French Animal Rights League as saying,

It’s shameful. France has ratified all these conventions on cruelty to animals, and even put most of them into national law, yet it continues to condone this barbaric practice. It seems foie gras is sacred.

France, of course, is the world’s leading producer of foie gras, accounting for 70 percent of the world’s supply and 85 percent of the consumption of foie gras. According to The Guardian, the average French person eats foie gras about 10 times each year.


France defies EU to continue force-feeding birds for foie gras. Jon Henley, The Guardian, September 18, 2004.

Controversy in France Over Muslim Students Wearing Headscarfs

In the past few months a controversy over Muslim women and girls wearing headscarfs has heated up again in France.

On the one hand, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy angered some Muslims in France when he insisted that women having their photographs taken for France’s national identity card would have to remove their headscarfs. Sarkozy was booed at a gathering of 10,00 Muslims at the Union of Islamic Organizations in France. On this point, Sarkozy is correct. Leaving aside problems with national identity cards themselves, requiring Muslim women not to cover their heads in scarves for such photographs seems sensible and uncontroversial enough.

On the other hand, many in France want to go much further. Specifically, they want to ban young Muslim girls from wearing head scarves to school. Educator in France are angered by this continued practice, and French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said he supported a ban on the wearing of headscarfs.

MP Jacque Myard told La Chine Info TV that Muslims wearing headscarfs in school was “incompatible with the neutrality of the school and the French Republic.” According to the BBC there is actually a “1994 instruction from the Education Minister [that] says the ‘ostentatious display of religious allegiance’ in state educational institutions should be prevented.”

That sounds like straightforward anti-Muslim bigotry. The BBC reports that Education Minister Luc Ferry has “pledged to introduce a new law next year that would reassert secular values in state schools.” Translation: the new law will shove secularism down the throat of the Muslim minority whether they like it or not.


Headscarf row erupts in France. Magali Faure and Philip Gouge, The BBC, April 25, 2003.