French lower house approves Muslim veil ban

13th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The French lower house of parliament voted by a crushing majority on Tuesday to approve a bill which would ban Muslim women from wearing a full-face veil in public.

The legislation was passed by 335 votes to one in the 577-seat National Assembly, with President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing majority voting in favour while the Socialists and Communists abstained.

Socialist lawmakers had spoken out against a total ban on the veil in streets and public spaces, arguing that this risks being thrown out by French judges or the European court and handing victory to "fundamentalists".

The bill will now go before the Senate upper house in September.

© 2010 AFP

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