Update: an apology was issued. We strongly protest the characterisation of the French (citizens of France) as xenophobic, as written in Antonia Zerbisias’ column dated June 13th 2008.
“Yes, there’s that Muslim thing – which, if you ask me, the xenophobic French are making way too much a fuss about. The legal ruling, despite all appearances, is based on Article 180 of the Civil Code, which dictates that neither a bride nor groom may misrepresent themselves before wedlock.” – Antonia Zerbisias
We do not wish to take anything else away from her column, as the issue of marriage, virginity and the law has come to the forefront of the societal debate in France and in Europe ever since the news broke about this arcane legal decision. We applaud the interest in this case, however we are deeply disappointed with the association of xenophobia and our nationality.
French bashing has come and gone in the last few years, most of which has been the intellectual property of the right-wing pro-war movement south of the border. The French have been proverbially tarred and feathered time and time again, without consequence, as we are most often not an organized political group abroad.
We believe that columnist Antonia Zerbisias, and many others for that matter, never think twice about associating a negative character trait with the people of France, yet would never dare publish anything remotely similar about any other nationality or ethnic group.
A full and sincere apology is in order.