France Moves to Ban Burkas

Sarkozy's party introduces bill to bar face-covering veils

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 24, 2009 3:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling party has introduced a bill to outlaw the wearing of full-length Islamic veils in public places. Burkas and all-covering niqabs will be banned under the bill, which would fine women who fully cover their face in public, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Veils that wholly cover a woman's face are a "violation of individual liberty” and a “negation” of one’s identity, said party chief Jean-Francois Cope. Opposition politicians ridiculed the bill for creating "clothes police." The French parliament will vote on the bill next month, before the results of a government inquiry into burkas have been published.

Two women, one wearing the niqab, a veil worn by the most conservative Muslims that exposes only a woman's eyes, walk side by side in Marseilles.   (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
The bill will ban the wearing of full-length Islamic veils in all public places in France.   (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
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