The Media Project is a network of mainstream journalists who are Christians pursuing accurate and intellectually honest reporting on all aspects of culture, particularly the role of religion in public life in all corners of the world. It welcomes friends from other faiths to such discussions and training.

Europeans, Americans disagree on banning veils

Europeans, Americans disagree on banning veils

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From the Associated Press. 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 Tuesday that would make it illegal to wear full-face veils in public. The government 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 as part of a larger poll on global attitudes conducted in April and May. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 or 5 percentage points for the countries asked about the veil. The study was released Thursday.

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