While the media focus was on the head-to-toe, body-encompassing robe that leaves only a slit for the eyes, the part of the ruling stating the Moroccan citizen had adopted as her religious practice a very dangerous strain of Islamic fundamentalism was mostly ignored. Previously, citizenship had been denied to those involved with Islamic fundamentalist groups rather than to those who practiced their beliefs.
After her marriage to a man possessing French citizenship, Faiza Silmi, 32, moved to France in 2000 from her native Morocco. There, the North African woman bore three children and donned the burqa for the first time at her husband’s behest. In 2005, Silmi applied for French citizenship, but a lower French court rejected her application on the grounds she showed a “lack of assimilation.”