Excerpt:

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Wednesday the state of religious freedom in Europe, as Washington highlighted policies and attitudes toward Muslim veils and Islam as a whole.

"Several European countries have placed harsh restrictions on religious expression," Clinton said, without elaborating as she unveiled the State Department's report on international religious freedom for the last year.

Her assistant secretary for human rights, Michael Posner, cited France's ban on wearing the niqab and other face coverings in public places and a Swiss motion passed last year that bans building new minarets.


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