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European parliament member calls for Europe-wide veil ban

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A member of the European parliament Silvana Koch-Mehrin has called to ban in Europe the full Islamic veil or burqa, an outfit that covers everything but the eyes in public, European media said

A member of the European parliament Silvana Koch-Mehrin has called to ban in Europe the full Islamic veil or burqa, an outfit that covers everything but the eyes in public, European media said.

Koch-Mehrin said that covering women "openly supports values that we do not share in Europe."

"I wish that Germany and all of Europe would also outlaw the wearing of the burqa in all its forms," she said adding that "burqa is a massive attack on women's rights."

Last week, Belgian lower house of the parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill banning clothes or veils that do not let one who wears it to be fully identified, including the full-face niqab and burqa.

The bill is now expected to be approved by the Belgium's upper house.

Last year a Belgian Muslim woman was ordered to pay 200 euros ($300) for wearing a burka in a public place.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner Europe 1 radio he expects criticism from other countries, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, who see the ban as an infringement on religious freedoms. Koucher also said he expects particular criticism from Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government prepares a draft of a bill making illegal to wear the face-covering veil. If it is approved France will become the second European country after Belgium prohibiting wearing face-covering veils or burqas in public.

BRUSSELS, May 2 (RIA Novosti)

 

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