It's an unusually warm, spring morning in Venissieux, a downtrodden suburb of Lyon, and Fadela, 23, covered from head to toe in a black niqab, her black gloves adorned with elegant flower stitching, is walking with her friend Najet to the discount market called Ed.
A police car passes but does not stop. Fadela says that's not unusual. "This is a sensitive neighbourhood," she surmised. "It'd be a problem for the police."
In fact, Fadela, who agreed to be interviewed on condition her real name not be used, said police have never told her to uncover her face.
Nearly one year after France implemented its controversial ban on wearing the Islamic veil— a niqab or burka — in public, a surprising fact has emerged. It appears that few women have actually removed their veils to obey the law.