Iran denounces European `intolerance` over burqa

Iran`s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Wednesday denounced European "intolerance" towards the Islamic veil, as France and Belgium move towards banning the burqa in public.

Updated: Jun 02, 2010, 21:26 PM IST

Brussels: Iran`s Foreign Minister Manouchehr
Mottaki on Wednesday denounced European "intolerance" towards the
Islamic veil, as France and Belgium move towards banning the
burqa in public.

"We think this is an example of the intolerance that
exists in Europe" regarding Muslims, Mottaki told a press
conference during a visit to Brussels.
"We hope that European leaders will reflect on the
subject, we attach great importance to the rights of religious
minorities," he stressed, adding "we consider the moves in
some western countries as worrying for Muslim nations."

Last month the French cabinet approved a draft law to ban
the Muslim full-face veil from public spaces, opening the way
for the text to go before parliament in July.

Meanwhile in Belgium parliamentary deputies have backed a
draft law banning the wearing of the Muslim veil in all public
places, including on the streets.

That text must still be adopted by the upper house Senate
before it can come into effect.

Spain`s northeastern town of Lerida last week became the
first in the country to ban the wearing of the face-covering
Islamic veil in municipal buildings.

A similar ban is being considered elsewhere in Spain`s
north-eastern Catalonia region which has a large immigrant
population.
Several pieces of legislation on the Islamic veil are
being prepared in the Netherlands, while the debate recently
opened in Austria.

PTI