Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The French cabinet has approved a bill making it illegal to wear in public clothes designed to hide the face

The legislation amounts to a ban on the full-face Muslim veil. Women wearing the veil in public could be fined, and men judged to have forced them to do so could be imprisoned. Parliament passed a non-binding resolution condemning the full Islamic face veil as an affront to the nation's values of dignity and equality. A law against conspicuous religious symbols effectively banned headscarves from state primary and secondary schools in 2004. The bill puts France on course to become the second European country after Belgium to declare the wearing of such veils illegal in public places. There are several types of headscarves and veils for Muslim women - those that cover the face being the niqab and the burka. In France, the niqab is the version most commonly worn.

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