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Tue 26 Jan 2010 02:13 PM

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France set to impose limited ban on burqas

Report says full veil should be banned in public places, but stops short of total ban.

A parliamentary panel that wants Muslim women to stop veiling their faces recommended on Tuesday that France ban the burqa in public facilities.

The report said that it should not be worn in places including hospitals and mass transit, and anyone with visible signs of a "radical religious practice" should be refused residence cards and citizenship, according to a report by Associated Press.

It said the report contained a range of measures intended to dissuade women from wearing all-enveloping veils in France.

However, it stopped short of calling to outlaw such garments in private areas and in the street.

The 32-member, multi-party panel heeded warnings that a full ban risked being deemed unconstitutional and could even cause trouble in a country where Islam is the second-largest religion, AP reported.

France's estimated 5 million Muslims is the largest such population in western Europe and Muslim leaders have already complained that the debate over the full veil has left some Muslims feeling their religion is becoming a government target.

The report culminates a six-month inquiry into the wearing of burqas that began after President Nicolas Sarkozy said they were "not welcome" on French territory.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

arnel 10 years ago

What if U.A.E. for example demands that all expats are not welcome in their territory without wearing a veil? What will be our grounds then to back up our protests? Is it because we are not muslims and we don't cover ourselves? If yes, then let the muslims practise what they believe in and to each his own now. If this is for security reasons, those who are not wearing veils are not safe either. This Policy is very shallow and narrow-minded.

Arif 10 years ago

My name is Arif and I am a fundamental and a moderate Muslim. I believe that in every country, people have complete freedom to practice their religion. Abolishing veil means taking away freedom from the people and it shows the inability of the country to handle the situation. It is a very crucial for the government to come up with steps to integrate people rather than alienating them. I sure by integrating people country can instill feeling of oneness to combat the wrong notions and live in harmony.

mubeen 10 years ago

GCC should collectively take same measure against FRANCE & should make a rule that FRANCE non muslims must wear full burqa when they enter GCC.

Julian 10 years ago

Hi, "France set to impose LIMITED BAN on Burqas". ARIF, who talked about "abolishing the veil"? Did tou read the article? Not "abolishing" but "limited ban", not "veil" but "burqa" (full face). Any Muslim can wear a veil in France -except in specific public place such as school or government agencies, but no problem in the street- and Burqa -or Niqab- are not request by Coran. ARNEL, "What if U.A.E. for example demands that all expats are not welcome in their territory without wearing a veil?"... This is exactly what Saudi Arabia and Iran -both leaders in Sunni and Shia world- are imposing to women visiting their territory.

Sarah 10 years ago

The key issue here is about moderation in religious practice. Just as how women are given the freedom uncover their hair but prohibited from provocative clothing in the UAE, France ban the wearing of burka but not hejab.

david 10 years ago

@ Arif: i dont think your statement"in every country, people have complete freedom to practice their religion" hold any good. I doubt i can practice Hinduism/Christrianity/Buddhism in KSA @ Arnel: UAE has long been a multicultural place and if at all they too demanded such rules, i doubt it would be the UAE we are presently living in. i feel we just have to respect the rule of the land we're staying in!

Naveed Saeed 10 years ago

It is very unfortunate to see how the European countries are treating this. Isn't there anything called 'freedom of religion'? I cannot understand why others should bother what I wear under my own wishes? How about nanis and other similar dresses? If one does not want her body to be seen by others, she should be left alone unless there are other compelling reasons to do so.

harry dee 10 years ago

I think you are all missing the main point here, which is that every country in the world has the sovereign right to dictate through its laws how people are allowed to behave, dress, drive, eat and drink etc etc. If you live in a country where the laws offend you or your culture - move somewhere else! And don't tell me about freedom - I live in Riyadh, so I am well versed in the subject. I have also lived in an Asian communist country, where even comments like this would not be published for fear of government retribution. And the veil? Its not even a religious subject - its a basic symbol of male ownership of a female (wife, daughter, whatever). and belongs in the stone age - but I would defend the right of a country to make their citizens comply with it, just as I am defending the right of a country to say that it is not allowed.

Khalid 10 years ago

David brother....KSA is like the Vatican City or so called the Holy See of Muslims around the world, I guess not further information required, but if you have any doubts try finding the rules of the Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano) which are based on Code of Canon Law and revisions to it.Masalama.

Mohammad Osman 10 years ago

I am very unhappy to the recent developments on what is happening in the European countries. I am not in a position to force my beliefs to the others, but, I have the right to ask what others are asking. Neither Saudi Arabia nor Iran force any Non-Muslim woman to dress like Muslim woman, but, as long as the culture is to have Hijab which serves the same meaning of Burqa or Niqab, then, Non-Muslim use to have black dress which is neither compulsory nor forced to do it. Therefore, we have to differentiate between the enforcing laws and traditions.