An Italian parliamentary commission approved a draft law on Tuesday which would ban women from wearing the veils that cover their faces in public, if passed by parliament in September.

The draft law would forbid women from wearing a burqa or naqib, but also prohibit anyone from covering their faces with a motorcycle helmet or any material of "ethnic origins".

Sponsored by Souad Sbai, a Moroccan-born member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's ruling People of Freedom Party (PDL), the draft was adopted on the back of support from the government's coalition party, the Northern League.

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