France's official Muslim council has warned the government not to expect it to impose a planned ban on full face veils for women that legal experts argue will be unconstitutional and police predict will be unenforceable.
Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), said his group opposed the full veil and would try to convince the tiny minority of veiled women that it was not a religious obligation and was out of place in France.
But Muslim leaders could not act as agents of the state during a six-month "mediation period" during which veiled women will be stopped and informed about the law but not fined.
The draft law, due to be passed this autumn, bans wearing full veils in public. After the mediation period, veiled women must pay a 150 euro ($182.8) fine or take "citizenship lessons" while anyone found forcing them to veil risks a 15,000 euro fine.