Banning the 'Burqa' France's Quest to Maintain its Secular Identity

Six months after President Sarkozy declared the burqa and niqab "not welcome" in France, a parliamentary committee has recommended banning full veils. Does the proposal send a clear signal to Muslims in Europe, or is it a distraction from the ongoing economic crisis?
A woman wearing a niqab, the Islamic full veil, walks in a street of Lyon, eastern France.

A woman wearing a niqab, the Islamic full veil, walks in a street of Lyon, eastern France.

Foto: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/ AFP
smd -- with wire reports