Thursday, January 21, 2010

French MPs to denounce Muslim veils, ban later

PARIS (Reuters) – France's parliament is likely to call in a resolution for a ban on Muslim face veils in public but take longer to turn that policy into law, deputies said on Thursday.

A parliamentary commission studying the sensitive issue, which has been discussed alongside a wider public debate about French national identity launched by President Nicolas Sarkozy, is due to publish its recommendations next Tuesday.

Polls say most voters want a legal ban on full-length face veils, known here by the Afghan term burqa although the few worn in France are Middle Eastern niqabs showing the eyes. Critics say a law would stigmatize Muslims and be unenforceable.

Jean-Francois Cope, parliamentary floor leader for Sarkozy's conservative UMP party, told France Inter radiosaid the plan was for "a resolution to explain and then a law to decide." A parliamentary resolution would not be legally binding.

Andre Gerin, head of the commission, agreed that deputies needed more time to draft a law, but told the daily Le Figaro: "The ban on the full facial veil will be absolute.";_ylt=AmlXUSy3IZ0sUFNTX6I6skI7Xs8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJrdWpxdGJtBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTAwMTIxL3VzX2ZyYW5jZV92ZWlsBHBvcwM5BHNlYwN5bl9wYWdpbmF0ZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA2ZyZW5jaG1wc3RvZA--

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