Court upholds France’s ban on face veilscomment (0)
July 24, 2014
Europe’s top human rights court has rejected a petition by a young Muslim woman who claimed France’s 2010 veil ban violated her rights to freedom of expression and religion and amounted to discrimination.
The French law bans most face-covering garments in public for security reasons. That includes the Islamic face-covering veil, or “niqab,” which authorities argue violates France’s secularist creed and women’s rights.
While a minority of women wear the face veils — fewer than 2,000, the government estimates, out of France’s roughly 2.5 million Muslim women — many Muslims feel the legislation unfairly singles them out.
The ruling by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights sparked swift reactions, with Amnesty International calling it “a profound retreat for the freedom of expression and religion.”
Besides France, Belgium also has adopted the veil ban, as have parts of Switzerland, Spain and Italy. In France several court decisions have similarly affirmed the ban’s legality.