While the veil has been an ongoing issue in France for quite some time, some stronger action is being taken by Parliament in efforts to ban the full Islamic veil, or the niqab, despite the fact that just a small portion of Muslim women in France actually wear it. Via AFP:
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Friday asked France’s top court to help the government draft a law banning the full Islamic veil, his office said.
The government’s move comes three days after a French parliament report called for a ban on the burqa and niqab, saying Muslim women who fully cover their heads and faces pose an “unacceptable” challenge to French values.
Fillon wrote to the State Council, the country’s highest administrative court, asking it to “study the legal solutions enabling us to reach a ban on wearing the full veil, which I want to be as wide and effective as possible.”
He asked the court to “help the government find a legal answer to the concerns expressed by parliament’s representatives and to rapidly submit a bill on the subject to parliament.” The State Council is to submit its findings by the end of March.
While the government uses women’s rights as a veil in itself to hide the real drive behind these efforts – xenophobia – there are already laws in place banning headscarves or other “conspicuous” religious symbols in state schools. But this would be the most extreme ban yet.