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Still in France, the country's hotly debating bill to ban the burqa in public will go before parliament Tuesday.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, is casting the measure as a way to promote equality between the sexes and protect oppressed women.
The bill being debated is widely expected to become law, despite the concerns of many French Muslims, who fear it will stigmatize them.
Many argue it would also violate the constitution.
Jean-Francois Cope, French Conservative Parliamentarian, said, "I insist on the fact that there is no stigmatization of the Muslim community. As you know, the burqa is not at all a religious prescription. I would say it's extremists who are opposing (the values) of the Republic, and the best answer we have is to say that in France in public you have to make your face visible. It's a way to respect each other and also a way to preserve security."
While ordinary Muslim head-scarves are common in France, face-covering veils are a rarity. The Interior Ministry says only 19-hundred women in France wear them.
Discussion on face-covering veils starts late Tuesday at the National Assembly, where lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill July 13th.
The legislation would forbid face-covering Muslim veils in all public places in France. It calls for a 150 euro fine or citizenship classes for women who break the law.
- Sarkozy to submit bill banning veils 2010-04-22