Full veil banned for Muslim women in France.
April 11, 2011 2:51 AM Subscribe
A law has come into force in France which makes it an offence for a Muslim woman to conceal her face behind a veil when in public.
posted by dubold (444 comments total)
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In September, the French Senate approved a bill
that would ban the wearing of the niquab or burkha in public. The bill was to come into effect in 6 months if not overturned by constitutional judges or the European Court of Human Rights. This bill would not ban the wearing of a hijab, or headscarf, but would apply to "any woman - French or foreign - walking on the street or in a park in France and wearing a face-concealing veil".
The penalty for any woman wearing the veil will be a fine of 150 euros. She could also be required to attend citizenship classes. However, the penalty for anyone making a woman wear the veil will be 30,000 euros and up to two years in jail. The bill was not overturned by the French courts or the EU's Court of Human rights, and goes into effect today.
The BBC's Gavin Hewitt writes: "For from today the wearing of full-face veils in France are banned. Overnight the woman from the suburb has become a dissenter. She says no law should tell her what she can't wear. She also believes that her faith trumps French law, and therein lies her problem in an avowedly secular French Republic. "
Last April, a woman who was wearing a full-face veil while driving was fined. Police said that the veil restricted her vision and could have caused an accident.
The woman, who is 31 and a French citizen, said her field of view was unobstructed.
Critics of the bill say that Sarkozy is using a controversial situation to draw attention from his unpopular presidency and win easy votes. They say that only about 2,000 women in France wear a full-face covering.
Supporters of the bill say that it is an issue of women's rights, and that wearing the veil creates an inferior status that is not compatible with the French values of equality.
Previously on Metafilter: Les Niqabitches
"stroll around Paris fully veiled from the waist up, but in hotpants and high heels waist-down, to protest the burqa ban in France."
France denies citizenship
to a Moroccan man whose wife wears the veil.