Italy: Minister rejects the idea of jail for burka
Italy's foreign minister Franco Frattini on Friday rejected the idea of sending to jail women who wear the face-coveing Islamic burqa. Both Belgium and France are moving to ban the burqa and the niqab, which leaves only the woman's eyes visible.
"It's unacceptable to send women to prison because they wear the burqa in public," Frattini told satellite TV channel France24 in a interview.
French MPs will on 11 May debate regulating Islamic garments that fully cover a woman's body and face, paving the way for a likely law banning face-covering veils, officials announced earlier this week.
"When it's not a personal choice, the veil can be interpreted as an act of submission and therefore as an offence to sexual equality," Frattini stated.
France has Western Europe's largest Muslim population, estimated at around 5 million, but only a tiny minority of women wear the head-to-toe Islamic burqa.
Source: AKI (English)