Another Frenchwoman fined for driving wearing niqab

3rd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

French police fined a woman for driving while wearing an Islamic veil, just weeks after a similar incident sparked a major political row, officials said Thursday.

Motorbike police carrying out random alcohol tests stopped the 23-year-old French national on a minor road near the northern town of Maubeuge on Wednesday, officials said.

They at first mistook her for a masked man but when they saw she was wearing a niqab -- a veil that leaves only the eyes exposed -- they fined her 35 euros (43 dollars) for driving with a reduced field of vision, a police source said.

The woman, who has not been named, had received her provisional driving licence just two weeks earlier, the source added.

In April, a major political row blew up in France after a woman was fined in the western city of Nantes for driving while wearing a niqab.

She accused the state of violating her human rights, while the interior minister sought to have her husband, who he said may be a polygamist with four wives and 12 children, stripped of his French nationality.

The Islamic veil has become a political hot potato in France.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government is pushing ahead with a legal ban on wearing full-face veils such as the niqab or burqa in public, despite a warning from state judicial experts that such a law could be unconstitutional.

© 2010 AFP

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