Excerpt:

The head of President Nicolas Sarkozy's Right-wing UMP party on Tuesday said he would continue to push for a total ban of face-covering Islamic veils in France.

Jean-François Copé's proposal for a full ban was backed by 190 MPs but rejected by a cross-party commission, which handed a list of proposals to parliament recommending a ban of the burka or niqab in state facilities but not in the street.

The ban would apply to public places, including all schools, hospitals, public transport and government offices. It described the face-covering veil as an unacceptable "challenge to our republic".


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