Kenza Drider announced her candidacy while she was attending a court hearing on the case of two other Muslim women, Hind Amas, 32, and Najate Nait Ali, 36, who were found guilty of wearing the burka in public and fined 120 euros and 80 euros respectively. The women were arrested outside the town hall in Meaux, Paris, on May 5, while they were going to deliver an almond cake to local Mayor Jean-Francois Cope on his birthday.
ABC News reports that the women were using the word "almond" as pun for "fine." In the French language a "fine" is an "amende" and sounds like "almond."
Ms. Drider announced that she would run against President Sarkozy as an independent candidate in next year's general elections and says that pro-Islamic groups and rich Muslims will be funding her presidential bid.
France's Interior Ministry has said that so far about 91 women have been arrested for wearing burkas since France introduced the ban but only about 10% of the total have gone to court.
Muslims in Europe continue to protest the spate of burqa bans saying that it is discriminatory. Italy and Belgium followed France in passing similar legislation. Last week Netherlands announced that it would also introduce a ban on wearing face veils (burqas and nikabs) in public. According to a statement by Cabinet ministers in the Netherlands the burka does "not fit into our open society and women must participate fully."