Indonesian Muslim body opposes French veil ban

15th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

The top Islamic body in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, Indonesia, said Wednesday it opposed France's ban on full-face veils.

"Middle-eastern Muslim women wear full-face veils as part of their culture and religious belief. If the French parliament wants to champion human rights, it should allow women to wear the veils in public," council chairman Amidhan told AFP.

"If it's for security reasons, the question is to what extent is there a threat posed by women wearing burqas?"

The Indonesia Ulema Council said the issue was of limited importance for Indonesia's roughly 200 million Muslims, with very few women in the Southeast Asian archipelago wearing full-face veils.

"We disagree with the law but it's not much of an issue for us here. We're quite far away and Muslim women in Indonesia don't wear full-face veils."

The French parliament passed a law Tuesday prohibiting wearing a full-face veil in public, meaning a ban will come into force early next year if it is not overturned by senior judges.

The Senate passed the bill by 246 votes to one and, having already cleared the lower house in July, the bill will now be reviewed by the Constitutional Council, which has a month to confirm its legality.

© 2010 AFP

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