Philippine Daily Inquirer

Survey: Veil ban backed in Europe, opposed in US

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PARIS—While most Americans oppose banning face-covering Islamic veils, most western Europeans questioned in a new global poll say the garments should be forbidden—especially in France, where a ban may soon be a reality.

Several European countries have been considerin­g bans on such veils, with special attention on France, home to western Europe’s largest Muslim community and a strongly secular government.

The lower house of France’s parliament is expected to approve a divisive bill on Tuesday that wouldmake it illegal to wear fullface veils in public. The govern- ment says such veils oppress women. Only a very small minority of French Muslim women wear veils such as the niqab or burqa, and many French Muslims fear a ban would stigmatize the whole Islamic community.

A survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that an overwhelmi­ng 82 percent of French respondent­s support a ban. The poll found 71 percent support in Germany, 62 percent in Britain and 59 percent in Spain.

In the United States, 28 percent of those questioned said they would approve a ban.

The pollsters questioned more than 4,000 people by telephone in the five countries.

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