France to enforce veil ban from April

France to enforce veil ban from April PARIS: A New French law banning full-face veils in public places will take effect from next month - a move widely accepted as targeting the country's Muslim population.

The law follows France's burqa ban, which outlawed the wearing of the full-length garment worn by women in Islamic traditions. From 11 April, the full-face veil will be illegal to wear in public places - on the street, in the supermarket, in classrooms, in museums, on buses and in parks. The only exceptions to a woman wearing the niqab in public will be if she is travelling in a private car or worshipping in a religious place.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused of trying to secure the vote of the far-right with the new legislation. Critics have pointed out that tiny minority of women in France wear full niqab - Muslim groups have estimated that just a few hundred people, in a country with a population of five million, wear the garment.

Those falling foul of the new law will face fines of €150 and be forced to attend a citizenship class, which will outline the 'secular values' of the republic. Although, confusingly, Sarkozy gave a speech praising the "Christian heritage of France", reports British daily newspaper.

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