Italy edges closer to ‘burqa ban’ law

Al Jazeera reports:

An Italian parliamentary commission has approved a draft law that would ban women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public, if passed by parliament in September.

The draft approved by the constitutional affairs commission on Tuesday would prohibit women from wearing a burqa, niqab or any other garb that covers the face in such circumstances.

It would expand a decades-old law that for security reasons prohibits people from wearing face-covering items such as masks in public places.

Women who violate the ban would face fines of $140 to $400, while third parties who force women to cover their faces in public would be fined $42,000 and face up to 12 months in jail.

Italy, an overwhelmingly Catholic country with a small Muslim minority, is the latest European country to act against the burqa. France and Belgium have banned the wearing of burqa-style Islamic dress in public, as has a city in Spain. The Belgium law cited security concerns.

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