From today, Muslim women in France will be banned from wearing Burkas and any other sort of veil which covers the face fully as part of new legislation introduced by the French President and the Senate aimed at encouraging the adoption of ‘traditional French values’
The ban which has been hugely controversial follows similar actions taken in Switzerland. Despite the controversy however, similar bans are currently proposed by governments across Europe in countries such as Spain and the Netherlands. It is not expected though that there will be any sort of ban in the United Kingdom after a statement by the Home Secretary, Theresa May was released strongly opposing such measures.
Women caught wearing a burka or niqab whilst in a public place will face a fine of 150 euros (equivalent to £130) in addition to a course of citizenship lessons. Whilst any persistent offenders could be imprisoned and receive a criminal record. Despite these measures, police are banned from using force to remove a veil, or challenge and then prosecute those wearing the head wear outside or near to a Mosque or other place of worship. Also being outlawed from today, is the forcing of women to wear a Burka by their husband or father. If found guilty, partners and parents could be fined up to £25,000 and potentially be sent to prison for up to one year.
The measures received strong support from the French government receiving a majority of 246 in favor of the ban. Many of the French have also welcomed the moves and believe that the laws will improve security, identification and stop the stigmatism of Muslim women.
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