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

Polluted waters of China

Polluted waters of China

Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers, and factory wastewater have degraded China's water supplies to the extent that half the nation's rivers and lakes are severely polluted.  Slideshow 

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

UKRAINE

WORLD SHOWCASE

Gaza Conflict

Gaza Conflict

21 Palestinians killed as Israel pounds Gaza on Wednesday.  Full Article 

'National Hero' Dead

'National Hero' Dead

Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor dies from virus.  Full Article 

Malaysia Tourism

Malaysia Tourism

Malaysia tries to parlay appeal to Muslim visitors into medical tourism push.  Full Article 

Graft Crackdown

Graft Crackdown

No safe haven in China's corruption crackdown: People's Daily.  Full Article 

Cyber Attack

Cyber Attack

Israel's 'Iron Dome' makers were hit by hackers, expert says.  Full Article 

Campus Flooding

Campus Flooding

Massive water main break floods UCLA campus.  Video 

Quality Issues

Quality Issues

In China food testing, safety inspectors are often one step behind.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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