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Fri 8 Jan 2010 03:49 PM

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French draft bill to fine burqa-wearing women

Muslim women who wear full Islamic veil in France may face up to $1,000 fine - report.

Muslim women who wear the full Islamic veil in France will face a possible 750-euro ($1,000) fine, according to a draft bill unveiled Thursday by the leader of the parliamentary majority, newswire AFP said in a report.

According to AFP, Jean-Francois Cope, who heads the governing UMP party in the National Assembly, told Le Figaro newspaper's weekly magazine that men who force their wives to wear the burqa or niqab could face an even heavier fine.

"The law will address an issue of security," Cope said in an interview with the magazine.

"The proposed measure would prohibit the covering of the face in public places and on the streets, with the exception of special cultural events or carnivals."

He said that the draft legislation will be presented in the next two weeks and should come up for debate in parliament after the March regional elections, AFP reported.

In June 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had said that women wearing the burqa would not be accepted on French territory.

“The problem of the burqa is not a religious problem, it is a problem of the dignity of women. It is a symbol of subservience, of submission," he said in a speech which he himself called “an important moment”.

“The burqa will not be welcome in our French republic," Sarkozy said during his address on Monday before a joint session of the two houses of Parliament in Versailles.

According to AFP, France has had a long-running debate on how far it is willing to go to accommodate Islam without undermining the tradition of separating church and state, enshrined in a flagship 1905 law.

In 2004, it passed a law banning headscarves or any other “conspicuous” religious symbols in state schools to defend secularism, it added.

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me 10 years ago

what about a naked woman on the beach? will she be fined also for not wearing anything! Is this a freedom that the west is talking about?

Chefke 10 years ago

Could not agree more you want to live in a foreirn country you follow their rules. Same here in the Shopping Malls you are requested to cover up to a certian state if not risk a fine. And for the comment on naked on the beach i must have missed that is dubai becoming so progressive that we have Nudist beaches keep me posted than i know where to go. They are both expressing extreems and should both not be tollerated in comen public places

Bishan Chakraborty 10 years ago

I do not think that it's an open minded decision. We should not be narrow minded. Culture is yours , ours , everyones. No one can enforce anything suddently on anyone within your or our country. I do respect all religions and it's cultures. You can ask others to change their foods. You should think in that way.

Wildwine 10 years ago

Well, I don't think this is a fair decision, but then if they don't like it they can leave France!

John 10 years ago

If this bill does go through i vow not to ever spend another dime on either tourism or business in France and I think im not alone on this.

Fairness 10 years ago

This world is very unfair, why people go to the extreme,,, allow people to practice there believes as long as it is not harming anyone... Women to wear burqa in France and Christians to celebrate xmas in KSA..

shakeel 10 years ago

Well this HEAD of France, needs to educated on his own religion if he follows or belives in, all religions on the face of the earth commands to cover the body to safe guard them self from people like you Mr. president, if the children of France follows your life style Sir, Surely beat the world record in AIDS and discovery FURTHER MORE NEW DESEASES. You will never succeed in your senseless laws, becuse the revenue on tourism from Muslim world slap the reseponse on your face.

Abid 10 years ago

Proof of fabricated freedom of western world, well muslim world will answer by saying NO TO FRANCE AND FRENCH.

Hamra 10 years ago

What is wrong with people? How do os anybody know if the woman wearing modest clothing is being forced or not? Is this really your concern that she is covering her body? Or is there another issue? Look through history and see how women usued to dress. It was not very different to the modern woman today that wears the outergarment with her beautiful crown. People wake up embrace clothing, It is an extension of your soul.

Syed JAVED Bari 10 years ago

This is mere cheap and shabby hatred of "Human rights champion, non-muslims" against Islam. This is all a part of the war they had planned and opened against the Islam and Muslims. In the hatred they have very obviously exposed their so called "human right protection and social justification claims". Every body even the non-muslim have now understand this obvious behavior, and the war they had started.