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Man who forced wife to wear burqa is denied French citizenship

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-03

Immigration Minister Eric Besson said Tuesday that French citizenship has been denied to a man for forcing his wife to wear a head-to-toe veil and for rejecting the principles of secularism and equality between men and women.

AFP - A foreign national who forced his French wife to wear the full Islamic veil will be denied French citizenship, the immigration minister said Tuesday.

Eric Besson said he had signed a decree rejecting the man's citizenship application after it emerged that he had ordered his wife to cover herself with the head-to-toe veil.

"It emerged during the inquiry and the interview process that this person forced his wife to wear the full veil, deprived her of freedom of movement with her face exposed and rejected the principles of secularism and equality between men and women," said Besson in a statement.

The man's name and nationality were not made public.

The decision came after a parliament report last week called for a ban on the full Islamic veil in all schools, hospitals, government offices and public transport.

The French government is seeking legal advice before drafting legislation that would outlaw the burqa or niqab in as many areas as possible, Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has proclaimed the burqa "not welcome" in secular France and come out in favour of legislation to outlaw the veil, but has warned against stigmatising Muslims.

Home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority, France has been debating whether to ban the burqa that is worn by a small group of women -- about 1,900, according to the interior ministry.

Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said last month that Muslim men who force their wives to wear the full veil should not be granted French citizenship.

A French court denied citizenship to a veiled Moroccan woman on the grounds that her "radical" practice of Islam was incompatible with French values.


Date created : 2010-02-02


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