PARIS, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The French parliament finally passed Tuesday a bill to prevent women from wearing face-to-toe veil covering whole body in public spaces across the country.
French Senate voted 246 to one to approve the burqa ban bill. France now reside 5 million Muslims, ranking as the largest Islamic community in European Union.
Women who violate the ban and insist putting full-face-covering veil in administrations, hospitals and parks risk to be fined 150 euros (about 195 U.S. dollars) or take citizenship lessons, while any man convicted of forcing their wives to wear the burqa will have to pay a 30,000-euro-fine and face jail term up to one year.
According to figures from the Interior Ministry, some 1,900 Muslim women are wearing the burqa across France.
"Long live the Republic with no covered face, is a question of dignity and equality. It is a question of respect for our republican principles," French Justice Minister Michele Alliot- Marie said.
The ban will come into force next spring if the Constitutional Council gives green light to the bill after final review.
Officials say the ban is a measure likely to preserve security and to guarantee women's rights but critics fear the measure will stigmatize Muslims and fuel racism. (1 U.S. dollar = 0.768 euros)
French president defends proposed ban on wearing burqas in public
PARIS, May 19 (Xinhua) -- President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday defended a ban on full veils in public that the government is pushing to implement.
"As to this issue, the government takes, in conscience, a demanding but fair way," Sarkozy said in a statement before his cabinet was expected to examine a bill banning the wearing of burqas, a full veil covering a women's face, in all public spaces. Full story
France determined to ban burqa amid raging controversy
PARIS, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Despite the raging controversy over full burqa ban in public places, the French government said Tuesday will go ahead with the plan, saying that it is not a matter of religion but a matter of dignity for women.
French government is working on a law to ban burqa, a kind of head-to-toe Islamic veil used by Muslim women, in all public spaces, including schools, town halls, hospitals and public transport. Full story
Report: Indian Muslim women dismayed over ban of burqa by Sarkozy
NEW DELHI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Many Indian Muslim women have expressed dismay over the decision by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to ban burqa, a traditional wearing of Muslim women, said a report of local newspaper Times of India.
From a college lecturer in Mumbai to a young married woman in Bihar and a student in Lucknow, many Indian Muslim women said the burqa is "an article of faith, a pillar of support" which they choose to wear themselves, according to the report. Full story