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France PM asks high court for help in drafting burqa ban

[JURIST] French Prime Minister Francois Fillon [official profile, in French] has asked the country's highest court, the State Council [official website, in French], for input on implementing a proposed law that would ban [AFP report] public wearing of the burqa, the full Islamic veil [Press TV report]. In a letter to Jean-Marc Sauve [official profile, in French], the Vice-Chairman of the State Council, Fillon ordered [text, in French] the Council to "study legal solutions to achieve a ban, that is as wide as possible, on wearing the full veil" while addressing legal concerns that other members of the National Assembly had. Sauve's report is expected back by the end of March.

In July 2009, a French commission began hearing testimony [JURIST report] on the proposed ban. The commission released a report this past Tuesday calling for a partial ban [JURIST report] that would apply in public facilities, including hospitals, schools, and public transportation, and to any individual attempting to receive public services. The panel also recommended that permanent residency and citizenship be denied to anyone displaying their adherence to "radical religious practices." The commission was established [JURIST report] after French President Nicolas Sarkozy [official website, in French; JURIST news archive] strongly criticized [transcript, PDF, in French] the practice of wearing veils, saying that "the burqa is not welcome in France."

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