veil Archive

You'll find articles about this subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

MP wants British ban on Islamic veil

A British lawmaker is refusing to meet female Muslim constituents who wear face-covering veils and has proposed a law banning the practice altogether, he said on Saturday.

Philip Hollobone, a member of parliament (MP) from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party, wants to see a French-style ban on women covering their faces in public, although his bill stands little chance of becoming law.

However, in his own constituency of Kettering in central England, he is demanding that women who wear veils and want to meet with him at his constituency surgeries remove them.

“If she said: ‘No’, I would take the view that she could see my face, I could not see hers, I am not able to satisfy myself she is who she says she is,” he told the Independent newspaper.

“I would invite her to communicate with me in a different way, probably in the form of a letter.”

He added: “God gave us faces to be expressive. It is not just the words we utter but whether we are smiling, sad, angry or frustrated. You don’t get any of that if your face is covered.”

– Source / Full Story: MP wants British ban on Islamic veil, AFP via Yahoo! News, July 17, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Yesterday AFP also reported:

Two thirds of British people would support a ban on Muslim women wearing face-covering veils in public similar to the one approved by French lawmakers this week, a poll found Friday.

The YouGov poll was carried out between Wednesday and Friday, after France’s lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ban full Islamic veils in public spaces.

A Harris poll for the Financial Times in March revealed Britons were among the most tolerant in Europe towards the Islamic veil, with just 57 percent backing a ban, compared to 70 percent in France and 65 percent in Spain.

According to the Muslim Council of Britain, about 2.5 million Muslims live in this country, and less than one percent wear a face veil.

– Source / Full Story: Two-thirds of Britain would ban the Islamic veil: poll, AFP via Yahoo! News, July 16, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

See Also

Widespread Support for Banning Full Islamic Veil in Western Europe; Most Americans Disapprove

France to fine women who don full-face Islamic veils in public

The French government decided Wednesday to impose a $185 fine on women who wear a full-face Islamic veil in public, pushing ahead with a controversial ban despite signs of tension between France’s Muslims and the Christian-tradition majority.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said his government was forwarding the legislation to parliament because it had a “moral responsibility” to uphold traditional European values in the face of an increasingly visible Muslim population, estimated at more than 5 million, the largest in Western Europe. He called the course chosen by his government “demanding” but “just,” and he insisted that the law was not intended to stigmatize the country’s Muslims.

France is one of a number of Western European countries seeking to forbid the full-face veil, called the burqa in Afghanistan and the niqab in North Africa. Belgium’s Chamber of Representatives last month approved a nationwide ban, which must now be considered by the Senate. Legislators in several other countries have introduced similar bills, and the Swiss government has vowed to impose a ban administratively.

The French proposal has drawn heavy support, with up to 60 percent of those questioned in opinion polls saying restraints are necessary. But Muslims here have complained that they feel singled out for a practice that, according to an Interior Ministry estimate, concerns fewer than 2,000 women in a country of 64 million inhabitants.

The French legislation approved by the full cabinet is scheduled to come to a vote in the National Assembly in July and in the Senate in September. Sarkozy’s conservative coalition has comfortable majorities in both houses.

After six months of what officials described as “pedagogy” to educate the public following the expected Senate approval, the new law would enter into force about a year from now. It would give police the right to demand that women lift their veils to identify themselves. If they refused, police could hold them for up to four hours for an identity check. If cited for wearing the veil, women would be referred to a prosecutor, who could fine them, force them to attend “citizenship classes” or both.

– Source / Full Story: France to fine women who don full-face Islamic veils in public, Edward Cody, Washington Post, May 19, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog