France’s highest court has upheld a law banning facial veils in public, with supporters claiming it will protect women’s rights while critics say it abridges religious freedom.

The law is to take effect in six months, after which a woman wearing a veil would face arrest and a fine of $195. A man forcing a woman to wear a veil could be fined $42,000 and face up to a year in prison. –JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

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.

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