Italy approves draft law to ban burqa
Rome, Aug 3: An Italian parliamentary commission on Tuesday approved a draft law banning women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public.
The draft, passed by the constitutional affairs commission, would prohibit women from wearing a burqa, naqab or any other garb that covers the face in such circumstances. It would expand a decades-old law that for security reasons prohibits people from wearing face-covering items such as masks in public places.
Women who violate the ban would face fines of euro100 to euro300, while third parties who force women to cover their faces in public would be fined euro30,000 ($43,000) and face up to 12 months in jail.
Italy, an overwhelmingly Catholic country with a small Muslim minority, is the latest European country to act against the burqa. France and Belgium have banned the wearing of burqa-style Islamic dress in public, as has a city in Spain. The Belgium law cited security concerns.
The Italian law was sponsored by Souad Sbai, a Moroccan-born member of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservative Freedom People party, who said she wanted to help Islamic women better integrate into Italian society.
"Five years ago, no one wore the burqa (in Italy). Today, there is always more. We have to help women get out of this segregation ... to get out of this submission," Sbai said in a telephone interview. "I want to speak for those who don't have a voice, who don't have the strength to yell and say, 'I am not doing well."
According to some estimates, 3,000 women in Italy cover their faces with veils, she said, adding that many of them are forced to do so. AP
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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