Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 15:59 UK

A veiled threat or an attack on faith?

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The French parliament has passed a vote to ban the wearing of Islamic face veils. The move has broad cross-party support in the National Assembly and opinion polls suggest overwhelming public support. To become law, it must now be ratified by the Senate in September.

Punishments for not adhering to the ban would include fines of 150 Euros for women - men who force their wives or daughters to wear the veil face much larger fines and possible jail terms.

Spain and Belgium are debating similar legislation and, with such large-scale immigration in the past 20 or 30 years, identity has become a popular theme across Europe.

Mishal Husain spoke to Lebanese journalist Baria Almuddin and Myriam Francois-Cerrah from Oxford University Islamic Society.

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