DEATH TO ANTARCTICA!!!
- May 14, 2009
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
France's lower house of parliament has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban wearing the Islamic full veil in public.
There were 335 votes for the bill and only one against in the National Assembly.
It must now be ratified by the Senate in September to become law.
The ban has strong public support but critics point out that only a tiny minority of French Muslims wear the full veil.
Many of the opposition Socialists, who originally wanted the ban limited only to public buildings, abstained from voting after coming under pressure from feminist supporters of the bill.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has backed the ban as part of a wider debate on French identity but critics say the government is pandering to far-right voters.
The vote is being closely watched in other countries, the BBC's Christian Fraser reports from the French capital Paris.
Spain and Belgium are debating similar legislation, and with such large-scale immigration in the past 20 or 30 years, identity has become a popular theme across Europe, our correspondent says.
The bill would make it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public.
It envisages fines of 150 euros (£119) for women who break the law and 30,000 euros and a one-year jail term for men who force their wives to wear the burka.
The niqab and burka are widely seen in France as threats to women's rights and the secular nature of the state.
BBC News - French MPs vote to ban Islamic full veil in public
It seems like there are those in Europe who still care about their nation's identity and the oppression of Islamic women.
First Belgium, now France.