Dateline: Elysee Palace, Paris
France has announced a new set of anti-terror measures, to come into force on Feb. 1st.
The measures are part of a continuing drive to curb extremism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and also serve to increase the state’s power to monitor the population and enforce conformity. Several new measures are included in the latest tranche of restrictions, with Prime Minister Vialls promising “there will be more to come“.
Amongst the measures are an extension of the “Religious Symbols Act”, which already bans the wearing of viels, to include male face coverings.
From February the wearing of full-face crash helmets, balaclavas, ski-masks, and other “non-protective” face coverings will be illegal and punishable by up to six years in prison and unlimited fines and property siezure. Dust and oxygen masks may be permitted in designated “hazardous work-areas” for security-cleared working men only.
Men With Beards
Most surprising to many Frenchmen, and some French women, is the inclusion of beards as a “proscribed face covering”. In answer to reporters questions, Justice Minister Georges Pompidom (Ms) clarified that the ban is specifically on beards.
“Initially“, the Minister said, “the wording was facial hair which is well-known for being worn as a disguise by terrorists and criminals. However, after consultations with our security people, we are confident that moustaches less than 6cm in width will not interfere with the facial-recognition software we are planning to install in cameras on every street corner nationwide. Beards, on the other hand, make it difficult to recognise people so they will have to be shaved off.”
Women With Beards
The beard ban also applies to women. Worldwide approximatly one in five-hundred and sixty-eight point two five women can grow a beard, although the percentage in France is slightly higher than the world-wide average.
Bearded ladies have been a tradition throughout French history, including former French Queen Clofullia who was confirmed to have grown a two-inch beard by the age of eight.
At the time of her marriage to Louis XLVII she could have been mistaken for a member of ZZ Top (whose act has also been banned in France). The Union of French Facial-Haired Female Entertainers, comprising some 10,000 members, have said they will challenge the ban on female beards in court on the grounds that it is patriarchal and sexist.
Shares on the CAC40 rose 9.5% on the news, led mainly by the men’s grooming sector, who expect the second half of Q12015 to show significant growth in the sale of razors, shaving cream, and after-shave lotions. High sales are set to continue into the medium-term and likely to last “at least until the outbreak of the looming civil-war in Europe” an industry analyst told CNN. Shares in the French prison and detainee sector also rose sharply.
French motorcyclists are planning a demonstration against the helmet restrictions and are rumoured to be threatening to hold an illegal “50,000 Leather-Clad Biker’s Parade” down the Champs Elysee next weekend after which they will stereotypically get drunk, start fist-fights, and smash up a load of bars and cafes before gunning their engines and riding-off.
Paris Police have placed an emergency-no-judicial-oversight-required (ENJOR) ban on motorcycles crossing the Boulevard Périphérique for the next 14 days. Police tweeted that “anybody defying the ban should be aware that our officers will be out in force, will have 10,000 troops backing them up, and will tolerate not even the slightest dissent“.
One gathering that will go ahead at the weekend will be the colourful Zionist Organisation of Gaul (ZOG), who plan to meet at the Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre to celebrate their exemption from the beard ban.
The event will have a party atmosphere and a traditional market will be set-up for the day offering bargain prices. Paris Mayor Molyneux Wolves is encouraging Parisians to come along, enjoy the day, and do some shopping. “All major credit cards will be accepted“, the Mayor reassured consumers.
The French Ministry of Defence declared it is ready to meet the challenges of the escalating Anti-Terror Operation (ATO). In reference to the recent #jesuscharlie hashtag, the French ATO has been christened Operation #HandsUpDontShoot and, the openly-gay spokesperson added, “Our surrender plans are almost finalised“.