A Spanish town council has voted to ban the wearing of the face-covering Muslim veil in public buildings, the first authority in the predominantly Catholic country to do so.
Morocco has expelled foreign Christians who tried to convert Muslims because, as a moderate Islamic state, it wants to foster “order and calm” and avoid a clash between faiths, its Islamic affairs minister has said.
Full Muslim face veils could become the next divisive religious issue to take centre stage in Switzerland, where voters last November approved a measure banning the construction of new minarets. The Swiss federal government said in February it saw no need for a “burqa ban.” Politicians at the national level say there’s no “burqa problem” in Switzerland. But few thought there was a “minaret problem” either, until the question was put to a national referendum and the minaret ban campaigners won.
France attempted the arguably impossible on Wednesday by presenting a bill to ban Muslim face veils and asking Muslims not to feel it was singling them out in the process.
Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who angered Muslims by portraying the Prophet Mohammad as a dog, has suffered a failed arson attack on his house, but was not home when it happened.
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?