Spanish City Bans Islamic Veils in Public Buildings

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The Spanish city of Lleida has made it illegal for women to wear face-covering Islamic veils inside municipal buildings.

Lleida's town hall passed the measure Friday with 23 votes in favor, one against, and two abstentions.

The new law makes Lleida the first city in Spain to regulate the veils, which have sparked intense debate across Europe.

The ban specifically targets burqas, the Islamic garments that cover women completely from head to toe. Officials in Lleida say the ban was implemented because burqas are degrading to women.

"No-one should be discriminated against because of their religion," Councillor María Rosa Ball said.

France, Belgium, and Switzerland are also considering burqa bans.

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