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Niqab Ban
Niqab Ban

France Niqab`s Ban takes effect

(Dp-News – Cnn)

PARIS- The ban pertains to the burqa, a full-body covering that includes a mesh over the face, as well as the niqab.

The hijab, which covers the hair and neck but not the face, and the chador, which covers the body but not the face, apparently are not banned by the law.

French police arrested two veiled women on charges of holding an unauthorized demonstration Monday, shortly after a new law banning Islamic veils such as burqas and niqabs took effect.

The law imposes a fine of 150 euros (currently about $215). The person breaking the law can be asked to carry out public service duty as part of the punishment or as an alternative to the fine.

The arrests outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris reflect the high passions the ban has incited among some Muslims, including women who say France's government has no right to tell them what to wear.

"I've not committed a crime," said Hind Amas, a Muslim woman wearing a niqab, a full-face veil with an opening for her eyes. "I'm walking peacefully in the street. I've not attacked anyone."

"The ban does not target the wearing of a headscarf, head gear, scarf or glasses, as long as the accessories do not prevent the person from being identified," the Interior Ministry said in a statement

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon last month defended the ban as being in keeping with national values.

Despite the controversy, French people backed the ban by a ratio of more than 4-to-1, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found in a survey last year.

Some 82 percent of people polled approved of a ban, while 17 percent disapproved. That was the widest support the Washington-based think tank found in any of the five countries it surveyed.

Clear majorities also backed a burqa ban in Germany, Britain and Spain, while two out of three Americans opposed it, the survey found.

Amnesty International had repeatedly urged France not to impose the ban, saying it violates European human rights law.

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