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Monday, 14 June 2010

Barcelona to ban the burka and niqab from Public Buildings

The mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, has annouced that any person wearing a 'burka' or 'niqab', both veils that totally cover the face of the wearer, will be denied access to municipal buildings and facilities. An order is to be signed shortly  that will necessitate the amendment of  the rules of each site to prevent anyone from entering that cannot  be clearly identified.This will also affect those who seek access in balaclavas and motorcycle helmets.

Announcing the changes at a press conference the mayor noted that the municipality may not prohibit the 'burqa' in the street but can in public facilities such as civic centers, libraries, markets and nurseries.

Snr Hereu has championed the measure, quite rightly in my opinion, for security and safety reasons, and for being an act of  common sense. He made the point that it is not acceptable to enter a facility wearing a garment that does not allow the wearer to be identified and has argued that the order is "in no way an attack on any religious beliefs".

Lérida was the first Spanish city to ban the burka and niqab in public facilities with many more Town Halls discussing the possibility of bringing in similar bans.

Post script 21:55 hrs 14.06.2010

The council of Tarragona has today, joined Lérida and Barcelona, approved an expansion of the restriction of the wearing of full facial veils in Public Buildings.

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