General Travel News

France Niqab ban starts with 2 arrests on April 11

Two women were reportedly arrested in Paris on the first day when the ban on wearing of a face veil - niqab - became effective in France. Protesters near the Notre Dame cathedral were taken away by police and are subject to a Euro 150 fine.

France has become the first country to enforce this controversial law against Muslim women who observe a strict form of hijab by covering their face in public. While many Muslim women wear the burqa or hijab, only a small minority of Muslims wear the niqab. This French law against the niqab was pushed thru by President Sarkozy in an apparent attempt to gain popularity ahead of next year's elections. A large number of Muslim immigrants from North Africa live in France and their growing numbers is causing racial tension.

Muslim women transiting thru various French airports such as Orly and Charles de Gaulle will also be liable to remove their veils.

A niqab wearing Frenchwoman denounced the law saying that this would encourage women to stay at home or leave France.

Police later claimed that the women were not arrested for wearing the niqab but were arrested for taking part in an unauthorized demonstration. Both were later released without any charges.

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