Europe's Banning of the Full-Face Veil – Ongoing News and Opinions
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4 May 2012. Ghent seminar on empirical face veil research (May 9). (Saïla Ouald Chaib, Strasbourg Observers)

10 February 2012. Banning the burqa and the European identity crisis. (Mauits Berger, Jurist)

31 January 2012. EU: Dutch government implements ban on face-covering clothing. (eGov Monitor)

28 October 2011. Breaking the law by just stepping out. (Angelique Chrisafis -Guardian News & Media Ltd, Gulf News)

22 September 2011.  France court fines two women for wearing niqab, or full-face veil, in first action since ban took effect. (Angelique Chrisafis, The

22 September 2011. Muslim women flout French ban of veil.  (Elaine Ganley, Associated Press via The Deseret News)

29 August 2011. Islamic Headscarves, Religious Pluralism, and Secular Human Rights.  (Paper by Zachary Calo, Valparaiso School of Law, posted to SSRN)

17 August 2011.  French businessman pays Belgium face veil fines.  (Ben Deighton and Elizabeth Piper, Reuters)

August 2011.  Barnett v. Meer: The laws against veiling go beyond France. (Carolyn Barnett, Policymic

21 July 2011.  EU rights body blasts veil ban.  (

20 July 2011. Banning burqa and niqab will lead to further discrimination says human-rights body. (Cillian Donnelly, New Europe)

20 July 2011.  European rights official attacks burqa bans.  (AFP, France 24 International News)

20 July 2011.  French EU Minister:  Europe 'abandoning naivité for constructive realism.' (

20 July 2011. Penalising women who wear the burqa does not liberate them.
(Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner.cws.coe)

23 July 2011 - "Burqa ban" takes effect in Belgium 

11 April 2011 - Full-face veil ban takes effect in France

11 April 2011 and ongoing - France
Entries through 9 June 2011

"Nul ne peut, dans l’espace public, porter une tenue destinée à dissimuler son visage."* France has become the first Euopean country to ban the wearing of full-face veils in public. The law was drawn without reference to religion and bans any kind of face covering in public, but it is widely understood as a "burqa ban," affecting primarily Muslim women. French officials have asserted that the full veil — the burqa (full body covering) or the niqab (face veil) — is worn by an estimated 2000 Muslim women in France. The controversial ban, passed by the French parliament in October 2010, has taken effect Monday, 11 April 2011. 

The law permits anyone refusing to lift the face veil for an identity check to be taken to a police station where attempts would be made to persuade them to remove the covering. Penalties for failing to comply will be fines of up to 150 euros (215 USD) and "re-education classes." Other more severe penalties (up to 30,000 euros, or about $43,000) are aimed at those who "through threats, violence, constraint, abuse of authority or power for reason of their gender" would force others to hide their faces in public. If the person coerced is a minor, the fines double, and a prison sentence of up to two years is possible.

Some news items below:

June and beyond

22 April and beyond

14 - 21 April

12-13 April

10-11 April