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

WORLD SHOWCASE

Algerie Crash

Algerie Crash

Bad weather seen as probable cause of Air Algerie crash  Full Article 

Russian Weapons

Russian Weapons

Russia transfer of rocket system to Ukraine rebels imminent - Pentagon  Full Article 

Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage

State judge strikes down Florida's gay marriage ban, stays ruling  Full Article 

Immigration Issue

Immigration Issue

Australia to ship Tamil asylum seekers to its mainland  Full Article 

Iraq Politics

Iraq Politics

Iraq's top cleric sends subtle message to Maliki - step aside  Full Article 

Flights Resume

Flights Resume

Lufthansa, Air Berlin to resume flights to Tel Aviv  Full Article 

Bus Restrictions

Bus Restrictions

China imposes airline-like restrictions on bus passengers in Xinjiang capital  Full Article 

Meat Scandal

Meat Scandal

In China meat scandal, McDonald's Japan switches to Thai chicken, no nuggets in Hong Kong  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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