VÉNISSIEUX, France —
on Monday formally banned the wearing of full veils in public places,
becoming the first country in Europe to impose restrictions on a form of
attire that some Muslims consider a religious obligation.
The ban, which came after a year of debate and months of preparation, is
viewed by supporters as a necessary step to preserve French culture and
to fight what they see as separatist tendencies among Muslims. But the
ban set off protests in Paris and several other cities, and it has left
many Muslims, including those in this heavily immigrant community near
Lyon, worried about their rights as French citizens.
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