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Full Face Veil Banned in France

Submitted by on April 11, 2011 – 7:57 pmNo Comment

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April 11, 2011

France’s ban on full-face veils went into effect today – a first in Europe. Any woman (actually, anyone) wearing a niqab or burqa in public may have to pay a fine of 150 euros (about $250 dollars).

France is home to 5 million Muslims, but it is believed that only 2000 women actually wear the full face veil. Many Muslim leaders have said that they support neither the veil, nor the law banning it.

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, in what many see as a political move to appease the right-wing conservatives he wants to re-elect him, has called for a debate on the place of Islam in France.

French police have been advised when arresting women, to not remove the veil by force. A wealthy Muslim realtor is urging women to wear the veil, noting that he will pay fines for any woman arrested and fined for the infraction.

The government argues that “the Republic lives with an open face”, while Muslim women argue that the law infringes their human and religious rights.

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