France’s burqa debate stokes passions in North Africa

May 14, 2010
Anne, an assumed name, a 31-year old French woman who has been fined for wearing a niqab while driving, speaks to the media during a news conference with her husband Lies Hebbadj in Nantes, western France, April 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/Files

Veiled French woman Anne (an assumed name) fined for wearing a niqab while driving in Nantes meets journalists on 26 April 2010/Stephane Mahe

Tearing away the veil — French lawmaker explains burqa ban

May 6, 2010

cope Jean-François Copé on September 5, 2009/Olivier Pon

One of the most frequent questions I get from readers outside of France is how politicians here can justify banning Muslim face veils in public places. Isn’t this a blatant violation of the freedom of religion?  Why isn’t this seen as such an obvious case of discrimination that legislators reject the idea outright?

French foreign minister gets ready for criticism over planned burqa ban

May 2, 2010


(French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Europe 1 radio, 2 May 2010/Dailymotion)

Belgian vote on Muslim veils could echo in Europe

April 30, 2010
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Salma, a 22-year-old French woman living in Belgium who chose to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, speaks to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels April 26, 2010/Yves Herman

French Muslim rejects polygamist charge, says has wife and 3 lovers

April 26, 2010
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Liès Hebbadj and his wife Anne after she was fined for wearing a niqab while driving, in Nantes on April 26, 2010/Stephane Mahe

French driver fined for wearing niqab, most French want a ban

By Reuters Staff
April 25, 2010
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(Anne, an assumed name, a 31-year old French woman who has been fined for wearing a niqab while driving, at a news conference in Nantes, April 23, 2010/Stephane Mahe)

France moves towards banning Muslim veil in public

April 21, 2010
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President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers speech on security issues in Bobigny, near Paris, April 20, 2010/Benoit Tessier

French Catholic church campaigns for more priests

April 21, 2010
A pilgrim prays during a ceremony lead by Pope Benedict XVI following an Eucharistic Procession in Lourdes at La Prairie in Lourdes, France on September 14, 2008.

A pilgrim prays in Lourdes, France on September 14, 2008/Jean-Philippe Arles

France’s Catholic church has unfurled a public campaign for more priests to ease a shortage amid a crisis of confidence worsened by widening allegations of clergymen sexually abusing children.

European push to ban burqas appalls Afghan women

By Reuters Staff
April 16, 2010
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Afghan widows line up during a cash for work project in Kabul January 6, 2010/Ahmad Masood

Embarrassing Vatican letter hailing bishop who hid predator priest

April 15, 2010
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Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos

As a tide of previously confidential Catholic Church documents about child sexual abuse by priests has risen over recent weeks, the Vatican has been able to say that none of them was a “smoking gun” proving it had instructed bishops to cover up the scandals. This defense looks thinner than ever with the posting of a 2001 letter by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos congratulating (yes, congratulating!) a bishop for not only hiding a self-confessed serial abuser but earning himself a criminal sentence for doing so. For more on the 2001 case, click here.