Ban on full face veils passes Senate




The upper house (senate) of the Assemblée Nationale has approved a bill “prohibiting the concealment of the face in public space” a measure which, while avoiding the terms, is clearly aimed at foreign forms of dress such as burqas or niqabs.

French Senate has overwhelmingly approved a ban on any future concealment of the face in public spaces

The law comes into force from Spring 2011, after a period of reflection and public education about the measure.

France thus follows Belgium in taking a strong line on cultural traditions that hamper efforts at integrating immigrant populations into EU host countries.
See here for full French News Online reporting on a hot topic.

The Bill was passed by 246 votes to one in the upper house after a debate in which veiling was variously described as segregation, oppression and contrary to French practise and tradition.

While condemning both the wearing of the niqab and the burqa, most members of leftwing parties in the Senate abstained, citing concerns that the measure might be “unconstitutional” or stigmatise Muslims. The law may yet face legal challenge in France’s highest courts and in EU legal fora.

The law provides for a 150 euro fine for anyone guilty of breaking it and any man convicted of forcing his wife to cover up, is liable to one year in jail and a 30,000 euro fine.

Story: Ken Pottinger
editorial@french-news-online.com



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