France's lower house approves ban on Islamic veils

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 13, 2010 18:12

France's lower house of parliament passed a ban on Islamic burka-veils, a move that is popular among French voters despite strong opposition from human rights advocates and Muslim groups.

There were 336 votes for the bill and just one against at the National Assembly. Most members of the main opposition group, the Socialist Party, refused to participate in the vote.

Following Tuesday's vote, the ban on face-covering veils will go in September to the Senate, where it also is likely to pass. Its biggest hurdle will likely come after that, when France's constitutional watchdog scrutinizes it.

The main body representing French Muslims says face-covering veils are not required by Islam, and it worries that the law will stigmatize all Muslims.


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