No French citizenship to men who make wives wear veil

February 2nd, 2010 - 11:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, Feb 2 (DPA) French Immigration Minister Eric Besson said Tuesday that he had transmitted a decree to the government that would ban from French citizenship any man who makes his wife wear the all-body Islamic veil.
In a statement, Besson said that preventing a spouse from going around with her face unveiled would be equivalent to rejecting “the principles of secularism and equality between men and women”.

The measure is the latest move in the continuing attempt by the French government to limit or ban women from wearing the garment, which is known here by the Afghan term burqa.

Last week, a parliamentary commission recommended measures to prevent women from wearing the burqa on public transport and in other state venue, but stopped short of calling for a law to ban the veil.

But Monday, the head of the Catholic French Council for Interreligious Relations, Bishop Michel Santier, came out against a ban on the burqa, saying in a statement that it would only marginalise the few women who did wear the garment and would “stigmatise Moslem believers”.

Police estimate that fewer than 2,000 women in France wear the burqa.

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