Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • EU broadens sanctions on Russia over Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

France

Legislation under way to ban full-face veil from public places

Video by Philip CROWTHER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-22

The Elysée presidential palace said Wednesday that the government will present to ministers in May a bill to ban face-covering veils — such as niqab veils and burqas, which cover the body from head to toe — from public places.

AFP - The French government is drawing up a law to ban the full-face Islamic veil from all public spaces, despite a warning from experts that it could face a legal challenge, a spokesman said Wednesday.
  


The spokesman for President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, Luc Chatel, said the bill would be presented to ministers in May and would go beyond a mere ban on women wearing the niqab and the burqa while dealing with French officials.

"We're legislating for the future. Wearing a full veil is a sign of a community closing in on itself and a rejection of our values," he said.
  
Last month, the State Council -- France's top administrative authority -- warned Sarkozy against a full ban on the veil, suggesting instead an order that women uncover their faces for identity checks or for state business.
  
"It appears to the State Council that a general and absolute ban on the full veil as such can have no incontestable judicial basis," the council said, suggesting that a full ban could fall victim to judicial review.
  
But there remains broad support in parliament for such a ban and the government is determined to press on with a law, which it says would affect only around 2,000 Muslim French women who currently cover their faces.
  
According to Chatel, Sarkozy told Wednesday's cabinet meeting that the veil was an "assault on women's dignity".
  

The vast majority of Muslim women, in France and elsewhere, do not wear a full veil, but the niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes, is widely worn on the Arabian peninsular and in the Gulf states.
  
The burqa, a shapeless full-body cloak that covers the face with a fabric grille, is worn in some areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  
In France, the garments are widely identified with fundamentalist strains of Islam and with the isolation and repression of women in some communities, and politicians suspect their use is spreading.
  
"We're not going to let this phenomenon drift," Chatel said.
  
France's neighbour Belgium is also preparing legislation, and could become the first European country to ban the full veil when a bill goes before parliament during a plenary session that starts Thursday.
 

Date created : 2010-04-21

  • BELGIUM

    Hijab-wearing Belgian lawmaker courts controversy

    Read more

  • IMMIGRATION

    Man who forced wife to wear burqa is denied French citizenship

    Read more

COMMENT(S)