No French citizenship for 'burqa' Muslims

10th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Muslim men who force their wives to wear the full Islamic veil should not be granted French citizenship, Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said Thursday.

PARIS - Wading into the debate over whether to ban the burqa, Alliot-Marie said the government would await the recommendations of a parliamentary panel considering possible legislation to bar Muslim women from wearing the full veil.

But the minister went on to say that "there are a certain number of basics on which we must stand firm."

"For instance, someone who would be seeking French citizenship and whose wife wears the full veil is someone who would not appear to be sharing the values of our country," she told LCI television.

"Therefore in a case like that one, we would reject his request," she said.

The justice minister said the wearing of the niqab or burqa was a "problem that affects our ability to live together, the values of the republic and in particular human dignity."

A French court last year denied citizenship to a veiled Moroccan woman on the grounds that her "radical" practice of Islam was incompatible with French values.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has proclaimed the burqa "not welcome" in secular France but he has not waded into the debate on whether the full veil should be banned.

The panel of 32 lawmakers from across the political spectrum are to hand in their much-awaited report on whether to ban the burqa next month.


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