Muslim Woman Fined $650 for Wearing Veil
Penalty believed first in Italy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2010 2:15 AM CDT
The town's mayor says he hopes the by-law will deter Muslim women from wearing burkas or niqabs.   (AP Photo/ Fred Ernst, File)

(Newser) – A Tunisian immigrant has become the first woman in Italy fined for wearing a veil. The 26-year-old woman was stopped by police at a post office in the city of Norova—a stronghold of the anti-immigration Northern League party—and told she was in violation of a local bylaw barring people from wearing clothes that prevent them from being identified by police, the Telegraph reports.

The law, introduced in January, is "the only tool at our disposal to stop behavior that makes the already difficult process of integration even harder," said the town's mayor. The woman's husband told reporters that the family would struggle to pay the $650 fine. He added that his wife won't stop wearing her niqab—a garment that covers the face, leaving only the eyes exposed—but that she will now have to stay home most of the time.