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FRANCE - Muslim women face discrimination

Published:Wednesday | January 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Paris, France (AP):

Mass transport, hospitals, post offices, these and all public services in France would be off-limits to Muslim women wearing face-covering veils if a parliamentary panel's recommendations becomes law.

The panel's number two predicts such a ban by year's end. As envisaged by the 32-member multiparty panel, a woman seeking unemployment benefits or other state aid, for instance, would walk away empty-handed if she refused to uncover her face. She would also be denied entrance to the local town hall, the bus, the Metro and the university classroom.


A panoply of recommendations aimed at dissuading Muslim women from hiding their faces is contained in the report, which was drawn up after six months of hearings from experts, Muslim leaders and others. One of the other recommendations: denying resident cards and citizenship to women who wear all-encompassing veils.

However, the panel was bitterly divided over recommending a ban on face-covering veils on the street, and that was not among the 15 recommendations retained after a vote.