France mulls all-out burqa ban

Controversial bill divides large Muslim population

The debate over face-covering Islamic veils continues to heat up in France, where the government is speaking out in favour of an all-out ban. In a controversial statement today, spokesman Luc Chatel explained President Nicholas Sarkozy’s rationale for a bill that prohibits women from wearing the full veil, or burqa, which, he said, “hurts the dignity of women and is not acceptable in French society.” With government set to discuss a draft bill next month, the Muslim population of France, which, at about 6 million, is the largest of the 27 countries in the European Union, is divided. While some agree with the move, which they say will prevent families from forcing women to cover up, others deride it as an encroachment on personal freedom.


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