France is to refuse to grant citizenship to a Moroccan man who forces his wife to wear the full veil, arguing that his adherence to a strict strand of Islam is incompatible with the country's values, the immigration minister said today.

Eric Besson said he had signed a decree explaining that the man, whose identity was not made public, was being denied citizenship because his behaviour towards his French wife contravened secularism and women's rights.

"It emerged during the inquiry and the interview process that this person forced his wife to wear the full veil, deprived her of freedom of movement with her face exposed and rejected the principles of secularism and equality between men and women," Besson said in a statement.

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