France approves bill against burqa

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Paris, Jul 14: French National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament, passed the bill banning the wearing of burqa, Islamic all-body veil, in public places.

The bill was passed on Tuesday, Jul 13 with 335 for and a single vote against. If approved in the fall by the Senate and then by the Constitutional Council, the law would impose a fine of 150 euros or a lesson in citizenship on any woman caught wearing the burqa outside her home.

A man convicted of forcing a woman to wear the garment, meanwhile, would be liable to a fine of up to 30,000 euros and a one year prison sentence.

The approval was widely expected, since the ruling UMP party has a sizeable majority in the body and the opposition Socialists said they would not oppose it.

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