Niqab Ban News: In France, Denmark, Italy and Egypt

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A round-up of some recent niqab-related news for anyone interested in keeping up:

In France: Moving from a full ban of the niqab, France is now suggesting a ban in public spaces.

“After a muddled and heated six-month investigation, the committee decided that such a ban might be declared unconstitutional under French and European law. Instead, a narrow majority of the 32 members accepted a compromise suggested by Mr Sarkozy and the Prime Minister, François Fillon. They called for a solemn, but unenforceable, parliamentary motion declaring the full-length veil – a marginal but growing phenomenon in France – to be “un-French”. They said that this should be followed soon by a law forbidding people to cover their faces in “official” public spaces, from hospitals to post offices.”

[Via The Independent, Wed, Jan 27, 2010]

In Denmark: No laws to ban to the niqab, but an urge to use existing rules to… effectually ban it?

“Denmark’s government said Thursday that face-covering Muslim veils don’t belong in Danish society but no ban is needed because their use can be limited under existing rules. The center-right government said the burqa – an all-covering dress – and the niqab face veil are “diametrically opposed” to the values on which Danish society is built. It called for the full use of existing rules that allow schools, as well as both public and private employers, to demand that students, teachers and workers show their faces.”

[Via newsobserver.com, Thu, Jan 28, 2010]

In Italy: Where the Equal Opportunities [sic] Minister knows more about the religious value of niqab and burqa than Muslims scholars do.

“The Italian government is debating a legislation to ban the face-veil in the country, following the footsteps of neighboring France, reported the Daily Mail on Saturday, January 30. ‘A law is being studied that would ban the use of a burqa and niqab, which are not religious symbols,’ Equal Opportunities [sic] Minister Mara Carfagna said.”

[Via IslamOnline, Sat, Jan 30, 2010]

In Egypt: Where females are doing everything they can to preserve their right to wear niqab.

CAIRO – Female students at Cairo University are defying religious and state efforts to ban the controversial niqab from schools and colleges, saying that wearing the controversial face veil is a religious obligation that also protects against sexual harassment. “I wear the niqab essentially to avoid harassment on the street and on public transport,” said [one student].

[Via Maktoob News, Sat, Jan 30, 2010]

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