- Title: PAKISTAN: Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan protests against veil ban in France
- Date: 19th July 2010
- Summary: KARACHI, PAKISTAN (JULY 18, 2010) (REUTERS) WIDE VIEW OF PROTESTERS HOLDING JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI FLAGS AND BANNERS CROWD CHANTING: "BAN ON BURQA NOT ACCEPTABLE" BANNER READING: "DOWN WITH WEST. WE CONDEMN BAN ON HIJAB" PROTESTERS CHANTING: "BAN ON HIJAB NOT ACCEPTABLE" PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER READING: "BAN ON VEIL: A NEW ATTACK ON ISLAMIC VALUES." JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI LEADERS ADDRESSING CROWD CROWD LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) MOHAMMAD HUSSAIN MEHNTI, KARACHI CHIEF OF JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI, SAYING: "We are really surprised and are wondering whether France is showing its enmity towards Islam by putting a ban on purdah and thereby hurting our feelings." PROTESTERS CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) MOHAMMAD HUSSAIN MEHNTI, KARACHI CHIEF OF JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI, SAYING: "Muslims live in France; they live all over Europe. They (French government) should not pass an anti-Muslim law like this. This (purdah) is a part of our religion." PROTESTERS CHANTING
- Embargoed: 3rd August 2010 13:00
- Location: Pakistan
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: International Relations,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA3XL4GK9ODKA0FT81BJTP0EUYM
- Story Text: Hundreds of Jamaat-e-Islami workers take to the streets of Karachi to protest against the French ban on full length veils in public places.
Hundreds of Jamaat-e-Islami workers took to the streets of Karachi on Sunday (July 18) to protest against the French government's ban on the wearing of full-length veils in public places.
French lawmakers on Tuesday (July 13) voted to ban full-length veils in public places, putting France on the road to becoming the second European country to take steps to make wearing the burqa or niqab a criminal offence.
France is home to Europe's largest Muslim minority, with about 5 million Muslims. The French Parliament voted in favour of the law, with 335 votes in favour and one against.
The law, which must still be approved by the Senate, would mean women wearing a full face veil in public can be fined 150 euros (189 U.S. dollars). It now goes to the constitutional council for a review.
The protesters in Karachi chanted: "Ban on hijab not acceptable." Local leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, addressing the crowd, said the ban was a fresh attack on Islamic values worldwide.
Jamaat-e-Islami is the largest religious party in the Muslim-majority country. "We are really surprised and are wondering whether France is showing its enmity towards Islam by putting a ban on purdah and thereby hurting our feelings," Karachi's Jamaat-e-Islami chief, Mohammad Hussain Mehnti, told Reuters Television.
Polls in France have shown that most voters back a ban, but legal experts warn it could violate the constitution. The Council of State, the top administrative court which advises the government on the preparation of new laws, said in March a ban could be unlawful.
"Muslims live in France; they live all over Europe. They (French government) should not pass an anti-Muslim law like this. This (purdah) is a part of our religion," Mehni said.
The veil issue has become the focus for a debate about Islam and France's secular system, which separates church and state.
Belgium's lower house of parliament voted in April to ban all clothing that covers or partially covers the face.
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