French court approves veil ban.
Country's highest legal authority gives the green light to a ban on facial veils, despite previous warnings against it.
France's highest court has approved a law banning full-facial veils in public - with the exception of mosques - eliminating the last hurdle for the ban.
Those behind the law argue that it will protect women's rights. Its critics, however, say that it stigmatises Muslim women and it is a breach of religious freedom.
The court found the law to be constitutional, bar in the case of places of worship.
"The ban on covering the face in public places cannot constrain the practice of religious freedom in places of worship that are open to the public," the court said in its judgment, a nominal nod to religious freedoms.
The decision in favour of the law by the constitutional council came as a surprise to many. The court had warned that the ban – which includes the niqab and the burqa, but not the hijab – might be unconstitutional.
The path is now clear for the law to be implemented in early 2011, after a six month period of "mediation" and "education".
The European nation that defined the liberal and reformist troika ( Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) has now backslid into pointless repression. Exactly what danger does a Muslima in culturally approved atire offer to the nation first formed by Clovis and the Merovingian dynasty? A few thousand women be-bopping around in burqas some how constitute a existential threat to the French Republic; who would of guessed? Here's a helpful suggestion : cut back on the snail intake my Gallic friends; it is obviously affecting the higher brain functions.