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Why ban the burqa?

There are over 4 million Muslims in France, yet according to the government, fewer than 2,000 Muslim women actually wear the niqab or burqa. So why the need for a law? How far will or should the ban go? Why now? Why now in France, and in several neighbouring countries? To critics who accuse the government of pandering to the far-right and stigmatising Muslims, the justice minister responds that it has nothing to do with religion.

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The draft bill says hiding your face in public will cost you 150 euros and/or a workshop on citizenship, while forcing a woman to wear the veil could mean up to a year behind bars and a 30-thousand-euro fine, doubled if the person who's forced to wear the veil is under age.
 
Radu STOENESCU, Philosopher and Columnist for Riposte Laïque
John BOWEN, Author of: Can Islam Be French? Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State
Laurent CHAMBON, Doctor of Political Science and Co-founder of Minorites.org
Author of “Le grand mélange – diversité, tolérance et faux semblants dans la France de Nicolas Sarkozy »
Philip CROWTHER, France 24 (via satellite from the National Assembly)
 
Watch the second part
 
A programme prepared by Yi Song and Perrine Desplats

 

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