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Banning the veil: Where Europe stands
A British minister has ruled out the possibility of a ban on face veils in the UK, while it looks increasingly inevitable in Belgium. Kipp provides a European overview.
July 18, 2010 3:51 by Samuel Potter
In the UK, the immigration minister has announced that banning the Islamic full veil in public would be “un-British,” reports the Sunday Telegraph.
The paper carries an exclusive interview with Damian Green, the new immigration minister at the UK’s Home Office, which is making headlines across the UK press. Green said a move to ban women from wearing the full face veil woulod be “rather un-British” and run contrary to the conventions of a “tolerant and mutually respectful society.” He said it would be “undesirable” for the British Parliament to vote on a ban and there was no prospect of David Cameron’s coalition government proposing it.
But it seems the British public feels differently. The paper quotes a YouGov survey last week that found 67 percent want the full face veil to be made illegal.
Green’s comments follow last week’s decision by the French lower parliament to approve its own ban. The BBC reported that the lower house voted overwhelmingly to approve the ban on wearing the full veil in public. In total, 335 votes were cast for the bill, and only one against. To become law, it must be ratified by the Senate in September. Despite only a tiny minority of French citizens wearing the veil the ban has very strong public support. Women wearing veils face fines of 150 euros.
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