First Published: 2010-11-21

 

Pope criticises French burqa ban

 

Pope Benedict XVI says he sees no reason to ban wearing full-face veils in public if women chose to.

 

Middle East Online

'I don't know why one must ban them'

BERLIN - Pope Benedict XVI criticised a French law banning Muslim women from wearing the Islamic full-face veils in public, saying women should be able to wear them voluntarily, according to a book due out on Tuesday.

"As far as the burqa is concerned, I do not see a reason for a general ban," Benedict said in a series of interviews in his native German to be published as a book.

"Some women do not wear the burqa entirely voluntarily and it is correct to talk of a violation against that woman. Of course one cannot agree with that," he said.

"But if they want to wear it voluntarily, I don't know why one must ban them," he said, according to a copy of the German text obtained by AFP.

The ban on full-face veils such as the burqa and the niqab is a hotly contested issue in France, with the government saying it aims to protect women's rights but critics saying it stimatises Muslims.

France's top legal authority, the Constitutional Council, approved the law in October, and it is due to enter force early next year.

 

IS bid to seize Kobane stalls amid air strikes

Six Tunisians killed in police-gunmen standoff

Iraq MPs divide over Kurds deployment to aid Kobane

Suspicious envelopes to consulates in Istanbul prompt alert

Morocco fossils: A rare and vanishing treasure

Germany offers to help Armenia forge peace with Turkey

Libya wakes up from ‘Dubai dream’ to face Somalia-like ‘failed state’

South Yemen separatists vow to intensify secession protests

Relatives of Iraq massacre victims: Blackwater guards should be killed

Ghannouchi makes it clear to Tunisia: It’s either political Islam or Daesh!

Deadly clashes erupt after army raid in northern Lebanon

200 Iraqi Kurd fighters to travel through Turkey to Kobane

Coalition strikes in Syria eliminate more than 500 jihadists in one month

Ahead of elections, new clashes remind Tunisia of need to fight terror

Saudi Arabia jails mothers for preparing sons to wage jihad

Jury finds Blackwater guards guilty of 2007 'massacre' in Iraq

Iraq Kurds approve reinforcements for Kobane

Israel classifies car crash as ‘hit and run terror attack’

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane