France: No headscarves for nannies, Senate adopts law

News Agencies – January 18, 2012

Nannies and childcare assistants could soon be banned from wearing the Islamic veil in France, even when working at home, after a controversial law bill was adopted by the French Senate. If the text is subsequently approved by the country’s national assembly, there will be a ban on wearing the veil for childcare assistants working in nursery schools (where the veil is already banned), in educational centres and in all facilities catering for children, as well as for nannies who look after children at home.

“Parents have the right to want a nanny who is neutral from a religious perspective,” said the left-wing senator Françoise Laborde, defending the text, while debate raged in the Senate. The Green party voted against the bill, while the right-wing UMP party was divided between abstentions and votes against the text.

French Senate Votes Overwhelmingly to Ban Face Veils in Public Spaces

News Agencies – September 14, 2010
The French Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill banning full-facial coverings in public. Leaders of both parliamentary houses said they have asked a special council to first ensure the measure passes constitutional muster amid concerns its tramples on religious freedoms. The Senate voted 246 to 1 in favour of the bill, which has already passed in the lower chamber, the National Assembly. It will need President Nicolas Sarkozy’s signature.
“This law was the object of long and complex debates,” the Senate president, Gerard Larcher, and National Assembly head Bernard Accoyer said in a joint statement explaining their move. They said in a joint statement that they want to be sure there is “no uncertainty” about it conforming to the constitution. The measure affects approximately 2,000 women.
France would be the first European country to pass such a law though others, notably neighbouring Belgium, are considering laws against face-covering veils, seen as anathema to the local culture. The bill calls for 150 euro fines or citizenship classes for any woman caught covering her face, or both. It also carries stiff penalties for anyone such as husbands or brothers convicted of forcing the veil on a woman. The 30,000 euro fine and year in prison are doubled if the victim is a minor. It remains unclear how authorities planned to enforce such a law.

French Senate Approves Hijab Bill By Majority

PARIS: The French Senate approved by a large majority a bill banning hijab and other religious insignia in state schools on Wednesday, March 3. The proposal was adopted with 276 in favor and 20 against, despite the recent mass protests by the five-million-estimated Muslims and human rights at home and the appeal of some countries against the ban, BBC reported. French President Jacques Chirac has 15 days to sign into law the bill – adopted by the lower house last month by overwhelming majority, according to the BBC. Chirac said in a televised speech in December 2003 that the “Islamic veil” whatever name we give it – the kappa and a cross that is of plainly excessive dimensions” have no place in the precincts of state schools. ‘Powerful Signal’ French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told senators before the vote that the law did not aim to discriminate against religions but to ”send a powerful and quick signal”. Raffarin insisted the law was needed to contain the spread of what he called ”Muslim fundamentalism” and ensure that the principle of secularism on which France is based remains intact.