No French citizenship for man who forced wife to don burqa

From The Telegraph U.K.

France denies citizenship to foreigner who made wife wear a veil

The French government has refused to give citizenship to a foreigner who has forced his French wife to wear a full-face Islamic veil.

Published: 7:00AM GMT 03 Feb 2010

The announcement came just days after a parliamentary commission called for a law to ban the wearing of head-to-toe veils in public places, such as schools, hospitals and government offices.

Immigration Minister Eric Besson said that investigations had shown that the foreign man, whose name was not given, was making his French wife wear the veil.

“He was depriving her of her liberty to come and go with her face uncovered and rejected the principles of secularism and equality between men and women,” he said.

Le Figaro newspaper said the man, who needs French citizenship to settle here with his wife, came from Morocco.

The debate over whether to ban the full-face veil has proved highly controversial, with critics arguing that it risked stereotyping France’s large Muslim community.

French police say only about 1,900 women wear the full veils, known here as burqas although almost all are Arab-style niqabs showing the eyes.

The French Catholic Church warned the government on Monday against banning the veils, saying France must respect the rights of its Muslims if it wanted Islamic countries to do the same for their Christian minorities.

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