Why the French president Nicolas Sarkozy must have effected the burqa ban in his country. ?
But many Muslims and rights watchdogs accuse the right-wing president of targeting one of France's most vulnerable groups to signal to anti-immigration voters that he shares their fear that Islam is a threat to French culture.
Some critics worry the law may be hard to enforce, since it had to be drawn up without reference to religion to ban any kind of face covering in public and since police officers will not be allowed to remove women's head coverings.
Anyone refusing to lift his or her veil to submit to an identity check can be taken to a police station. There, officers must try to persuade them to remove the garment, and can threaten fines.
A woman who repeatedly insists on appearing veiled in public can be fined 150 euros (216 dollars) and ordered to attend re-ed ...more