CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Ban on Islamic veils disconcerts Muslims

07-14-2010 19:09 BJT

Watch Video

Play Video

The French lower house of the parliament, the National Assembly, has passed a bill with majority support to ban burqa-style Islamic veils in public. It's part of a concerted effort to define and protect what is called French values that has disconcerted many in the country's large Muslim community.

335 legislators voted for the bill and only one against it.

The legislation forbids woman wearing full-body and face-covering veils in any public places and calls for 150 euros fines or the offender can take a citizenship lesson.

The bill is also aimed at husbands and fathers. Any male violator, if convicted of forcing a woman to wear the burqa, would face a fine of up to 30 euros, and one-year prison.

Proponents say face-covering veils don't square with the French ideal of women's equality or its secular tradition.

Jean Francois Cope, President of the UMP Group in the National Assembly, said, "We have shown by this law, by forbidding the way to wear burqas, that there is a deep contradiction between the fact to wear the burqa and the values of the republic."

One Muslim woman said, "I think it's everyone's right to do want they want to do and as for the burqa, if they have problems with it, maybe they should have a lady police to see the identification. That is what happens in the Arab world. We also have problems from the burqa for identification."

A few dissenters are concerned about civil liberties and fear of fanning anti-Islam sentiment. Legal scholars say the law could be found unconstitutional. Some women are also against it.

Kenza Drider, Muslim woman, said, "I will never change my life for anything in this world. I will keep my veil. The government can accept my decision or not, I am not going against the law. But if they fine me, I will turn to Human Rights in the name of my freedom."

Officials insist the law against face-covering is not discriminatory because it would apply to everyone, not just Muslims.

But, France's highest administrative body, the Council of State, says neither French secularism nor concerns about women's equality, human dignity or public security could be legal justifications.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.cn

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program