French Council Endorses Burqa Ban

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France's Constitutional Council had decided that Muslim women will no longer be allowed to wear a burqa or face-covering veil in public.

The council said the new law does not violate the French constitution. The ban will start next spring.

"The law forbidding concealing the face in public conforms to the Constitution," the council said.

"Nevertheless, the ban on hiding the face in public should not...restrict the exercise of religious freedom in places of worship open to the public," the council added.

Any woman wearing the burqa in public will be fined 150 euro, which is about $190. Also, anyone who forces a woman to wear the veil could be fined up to a 30,000 euro or $41,000 and could serve a year in prison.

Islam is the second largest religion in France, having the largest Muslim population in western Europe with an estimated 5 million.

Muslim leaders agree that Islam doesn't require a woman to hide her face. However, they are concerned that a French law preventing them to do so will disgrace the Muslim population.

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