Women who wear burkas and niqabs on the street in France face fines of £700
Women who wear Islamic veils in public in France face a £700 fine under strict new laws being proposed.
The amount could be doubled for Muslim men who force female members of their family to cover their faces.
Jean-Francois Cope, president of Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP Party, said the legislation was intended to protect the ‘dignity’ and ‘security’ of women.
A woman wears a burka in Roncin, northern France. The proposed legislation to ban the veil in public would protect the 'dignity' of women
He is set to file the draft law in the National Assembly after Mr Sarkozy said veils were ‘not welcome’ because they intimidated non-Muslims.
‘We want a ban in public areas,’ said Mr Cope, making it clear the veil would not be allowed in public buildings, or on the streets of France, home to five million Muslims.
He added: ‘The wearing of the burka will be subject to a fine, probably of 750 euros’.
The fine would apply to ‘all people on the public street whose face is entirely covered’.
Mr Sarkozy has called burkas ‘a sign of subservience that imprison women’, while immigration minister Eric Besson described them as ‘an affront to national identity’.