Spanish government announces plans to ban veil

Cruzada contra el burkaSpain’s government plans to ban the use of the Islamic burqa in public places under a proposed new law on religious freedom, the justice minister said Tuesday.

“We believe that there are things like the burqa which are hard to reconcile with human dignity and which especially pose problems of identification in public places,” Francisco Caamano told reporters. The new law “will have to include measures on these symbols which impede identification in public places” for reasons of “security”, Caamano said.

His remarks came a day after the mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, announced it would be the first large city in Spain to ban the use of the full-face Islamic veil in public buildings.

Two other towns in the northeastern region of Catalonia, Lerida and El Venrell, have recently imposed bans on the use of the Islamic veil in public buildings. Two more, Tarragona and Gerona, are considering similar measures, as is Coin in the southern region of Andalucia.

AFP, 15 June 2010