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    » 09/15/2010, 00.00

    ISLAM - FRANCE

    French Senate passes law banning the burqa in public



    Moderate reactions - so far – from the Islamic world. Appreciated by women, who see it as a choice for modernity. The law provides for a six-month period of "education", then a woman who chooses to defy the ban will receive a fine of 150 Euros, a man who forces a woman to go veiled will be fined 30 thousand.

    Paris (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The French Senate approved the law prohibiting the wearing of the burka or the niqab in public, which completely covers the face. So far reactions from the Islamic world have been quite moderate.

    The law, already approved by parliament two months ago, yesterday passed by 246 votes in favour and one against. In general, the left abstained considering it "unconstitutional" and for fear of losing the support of the Islamic world.

    The prohibition on covering the face in public (without precise references to Islam) now has six months of "mediation" and "education" to help women understand its value. As of April 2011, every woman who covers her face will be fined 150 Euros. Those who force a woman to cover will be fined 30 000 Euros.

    Similar laws are under discussion in Belgium, Spain and parts of Italy. It is estimated that 1900 women wear the burqa in France.

    So far the reactions of the Islamic world have been rather tepid. Some individual comments on Arabic sites defend the use of full veil as a personal and religious choice, which the state has no right to intervene. But comments by some (Muslim?) women welcome the decision as a choice for modernity. Michele Alliot-Marie, French Minister of Justice, advocate of the law, said that it is not against religion. "France - he said - the home of secularism, guarantees respect for all religions, but hiding one’s face under a full veil is against public social order, whether it is forced or voluntary”.

    The President of the Indonesian Ulema Council, Amidhan said he is against the law, but that it is not very important, not even for Indonesia, where there is no tradition of the burqa.

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    See also

    22/04/2010 FRANCE – ISLAM
    From Paris to Brussels, move to ban the burqa
    Sarkozy wants to ban the full-face veil across France. A draft bill is set to reach the French parliament in mid-May. Belgium will soon vote to ban wearing the burqa and niqab in public. AsiaNews proposes again Father Samir’s thoughts on the matter.

    14/07/2010 ISLAM-FRANCE
    Muslims say the total veil ban violates human rights and religious freedom
    The Muslim world reacts to the first approval of the French law which prohibits the covering the face in public. The Islamic Human Rights Commission talk about Islamophobia and racism of the state. Most media look with hope to a possible declaration of unconstitutionality. And there are those who evoke the Holocaust.

    08/02/2010 ISLAM - EUROPE
    An anti-burqa law to renew Islam in Europe
    Wearing the all-enveloping outer garment is not a religious requirement, but a cultural tradition from Saudi Arabia. It is the symbol of an attack by extremist Islam on Europe, and this has generated contempt for a certain retrograde form of Islam. A law is needed against wearing full-face veil in public spaces, but what is even more needed is a broad dialogue between East and West that would allow Islam to be modernised and integrated into European culture, and thus have an opportunity to contribute to world civilisation.

    26/07/2010 SAUDI ARABIA
    Islamic scholars: if the veil is banned, Muslim women may uncover their face
    Leading Saudi experts have criticized the French government decision, which denies freedom of religion, but agree that Muslim women are "allowed" or "it is better to" show their face when required by the law of the host country .

    17/01/2004 islam - france
    Veil crisis divides mainstream and fundamentalist Islam




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