France bans burqa; 150 euros fine on evaders
The government sources informed that women, who cover their faces in public, be it shops, schools, buses or hospitals, face a fine of up to 150 euros ($190). The person breaking the law can be asked to carry out public service duty as part of the punishment or as an alternative to the fine.
The government officials stated, "The ban does not target the wearing of a headscarf, head-gear, scarf or glasses, as long as the accessories do not prevent the person from being identified."
"The French Republic lives in a bare-headed fashion," said Prime Minister Francois Fillon while defending the decision to ban the burqa (a full-body covering that includes a mesh over the face) and niqab (a full-face veil that leaves an opening only for the eyes.)
Though the ban keeps the hijab (covers the hair and neck but not the face) and the chador (covers the body but not the face) outside the edge of the newly appointed law.
The law will also fetch a 30,000 euro fine (about $43,400) and one year imprisonment on the people who will force a woman to wear a niqab or a burqa. Forcing a minor to do the same thing is punishable by two years in prison and a fine of 60,000 euros.
However, a mixed reaction has come up from the Muslim people of the country as sources reported that a silent protest march against the burqa ban is planned on Monday morning in Paris.