After France banned veils in 2011, a French woman in her early 20s decided to fight for her niqab.

Backed by a group of Birmingham lawyers, the Pakistan-born university graduate and devout Sunni took her case to the European court of human rights, asking them to support her faith, culture and personal convictions.

But her suit was rejected in a decision handed down three months ago. And the decision has given new fuel to an already growing push across Europe to remove Muslim veils from society.

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