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.Muslim VeilsWhy Muslim women wear the veilMuslim Veil styles — from Hijab to BurqaMuslim headscarves upset secular EuropeMuslim scarf at heart of disputes around U.S.Research resources on IslamComments & resources by ReligionNewsBlog.com
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.
France to fine women who don full-face Islamic veils in public
Wednesday May 19, 2010 Islam
– 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
(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
, , ,
Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday May 19, 2010.
Last updated if a date shows here:
More About This Subject
Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.
Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.