Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Countries across the continent have wrestled with the issue of the Muslim veil – in various forms such as the body-covering burka and the niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes. The debate takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.
Headscarves are allowed at French universities – but not schools
France has for years been debating whether to ban the “full veil”.
In early 2010 President Nicolas Sarkozy said it was “not welcome” in France.
This was followed by a French parliamentary committee recommending a partial ban, saying that veils covering the face were an affront to French values and proposing they be banned from inside public buildings – such as hospitals and schools – and public transport. Continue reading