French entrepreneur offers to pay veil fines

PARIS Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:36pm IST

A woman wears a burqa as she walks on a street in Saint-Denis, near Paris, April 2, 2010. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Files

A woman wears a burqa as she walks on a street in Saint-Denis, near Paris, April 2, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Regis Duvignau/Files

Related Topics

PARIS (Reuters) - A French businessman is offering to sell properties to help Muslim women pay any fines that they may receive for wearing the full veil in public if a law is voted through France's parliament.

Lawmakers will vote on the bill on Tuesday, which would see women fined 150 euros if they wear the full veil, known as the burqa or nihab, in public places.

In a statement published in several newspapers, Rachid Nekkaz, who tried to stand in the presidential elections in 2007, said he would use proceeds from property sales for a 1 million euro ($1.26 million) fund to help women pay any fines.

France, home to the Europe's largest Muslim minority with about 5 million Muslims, is the second country after Belgium to want to ban the veil on its own soil.

Nekkaz is setting up an association, 'Hands off my Constitution', which he said viewed banning the veil in the street as unconstitutional.

Critics also see the bill as difficult to enforce and say only a tiny minority of Muslim women wear the full veil, and that the legislation is a step towards tighter restraints on individual freedom.

Supporters of the ban argue that wearing garments which hide women's faces violates the ideals of secularism and equality.

The country already bans Muslim headscarves and other religious symbols from schools and voters have indicated support for a ban of the full veil.

The government is expecting broad support for the bill after opposition Socialists said they would not hinder its adoption. (Editing by John Irish; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Korean Boat Tragedy

Family members of a missing passenger onboard the South Korean ferry Sewol which capsized on Wednesday, look at the sea as they wait for news from a rescue team, at a port in Jindo April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sunken Korea ferry relatives give DNA swabs to help identify dead

Relatives of some of the more than 200 children missing in a sunken South Korean ferry offered DNA swabs on Saturday to help identify the dead as a rescue turned into a mission to recover the vessel and the bodies of those on board.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Everest Tragedy

Everest Tragedy

Death toll climbs in worst tragedy on Everest  Full Article 

Missing Plane

Missing Plane

Current underwater search for Malaysia plane could end within a week  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Putin welcomes new NATO head, says better ties with West possible  Full Article 

Japan Military

Japan Military

Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China  Full Article 

Journalists Released

Journalists Released

Kidnapped French journalists found on Turkey's Syrian border   Full Article 

Papal Message

Papal Message

Pope Good Friday service underscores plight of the suffering.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage