Wednesday, July 14, 2010

French Parliament Votes to Ban Burqa Veils

Women who wear burqa veils in public will be fined $185 or required to take citizenship classes. The law mandates a year in prison and a fine of $38,000 for the crime of forcing women to wear the veil:

The ban, which still must be voted on by the Senate before it becomes law, is overwhelmingly popular in France and is reportedly backed by 82 percent of the population, according to CNN. The ban aims to promote French values of secular tradition and women's equality, which the burqa supposedly contradicts. .

In Belgium, full-coverage veils are currently prohibited in 20 out of 589 Belgian municipalities, similar to local restrictions in Italy and the Netherlands, according to Human Rights Watch. Spain has a related ban in progress, according to the Associated Press.