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French entrepreneur offers to pay veil fines

Businessman says he will sell properties.

July 13, 2010 3:07 by

A French businessman is offering to sell property to help Muslim women pay fines they receive for wearing the full veil in public if a new law is voted through parliament, reports Reuters.

The bill to ban the full veil in public places is likely to pass through the lower parliament on Tuesday. To become law, it then has to be ratified by the Senate in September. Breaking the law would provoke a fine of 150 euros, says the report.

Now, in a statement published in a number of 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.

Reuters says that Nekkaz is setting up an association, “Hands off my Constitution,” which he said viewed banning the veil in the street as unconstitutional.

The BBC reports that the bill has broad cross-party support in the National Assembly and opinion polls suggest overwhelming public support.

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