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Burqa-Clad Women Detained in France

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TEHRAN, May 12 (ICANA) – One month after France's banning of the burqa, women wearing the face-covering garment are being arrested and forced to remove their veils in public to avoid police harassment.
Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:25:46 PM
Burqa-Clad Women Detained in France

Five women were immediately detained by police for wearing the burqa on city streets, as they attempted to attend a conference on the controversial law in the capital Paris, a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday.

The conference was organized by the multicultural association Don't Touch My Constitution, which has raised funds to help women pay the fine that the government has imposed for disobeying the new law.

In April, Paris declared that any woman -- French or foreigner -- who wears a niqab or burqa in public will be fined 150 euros and those who force women to wear such covers will face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years.

During the conference, the organizer of the meeting was forcibly prevented by police from talking to one of the women, who had reportedly become ill during questioning on burqa ban.

"The real objective of this law is the stigmatization of the Muslim community; why make a law for just a few hundred people. French lawmakers have completely exaggerated the situation for their benefits." Hassan Ben M'barek , an activist observing the meeting told Press TV.

The controversial ban on burqa has set off a frenzy of debates in France with proponents of the law claiming that the ban protects the country from radicalism and opponents arguing that behind the veil of France's new law lies a certain sense of animosity toward Muslims in the country.

Many Muslims have complained that French media coverage consistently ignores the religious convictions of those who wear a niqab or burqa in public and quite unfairly portrayed them as mere tools, with domineering men controlling their every move.

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