Spain to limit wearing of burka: justice minister

11:49, June 16, 2010      

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Spanish Minister of Justice Francisco Caamano Tuesday said the country's future law on religious freedom will limit the wearing of the burka, a kind of all-enveloping cloak, in public spaces.

The garment covers the wearer's entire head, shoulders and face, and doesn't contain a slit of eyes as in the case of the similar garment niqab.

Caamano's announcement came just one day after Barcelona became the third Spanish city to announce that the wearing of both garments would be forbidden in public buildings for security reasons.

Tarragona became the fourth city in Spain to adopt the same measure on Monday afternoon.

The minister insisted the law would have to be approved by the Spanish parliament, but said the decision on a national level would take into account more than just security factors.

"It is difficult to make elements such as the burka compatible with the dignity of human beings and with fundamental elements in public spaces, such as identification."

Caamano said the law would be applied with "common sense and tolerance."

Meanwhile, Education Minister Angel Gabilondo made it clear that elements such as the headscarf - the hiyab wouldn't be forbidden. "The two items (hiyab and burka) are not the same," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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