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France proposes a partial ban on religious veils

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France proposes a partial ban on religious veils


The sight of women wearing religious veils in France has divided the country’s political parties. Now a parliamentary committee has issued a 200 page report with recommendations for a partial ban.

The commission of deputies was led by communist Andrea Gerin. The report’s proposals include a ban on women wearing the burka and niqab in hospitals, schools and on public transport.

“The wearing of the full veil is a challenge to our Republic. We must condemn this excess. The veil represents everything France rejects. It is the symbol of the enslavement of women and, as the report says, the flag of extremist fundamentalism,” said Bernard Accoyer, Speaker of the French National Assembly.

There are 1,900 women in France wearing full veils, according to the interior ministry. Speaking earlier this month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the veil was “not welcome in France”.

This report is expected to be followed by the drafting of a bill and a parliamentary debate on the issue.

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