Posted on February 8, 2010

Burqa-Clad Robbers Hold Up Post Office

Australian Broacasting Corporation, February 7, 2010

Two burqa-wearing robbers have held up a French post office using a handgun concealed beneath an Islamic-style full veil, court officials said.

Officials said postal office staff let the pair through the security double doors of the banking branch near Paris, believing them to be veil-wearing Muslim women.

Once inside, the pair flipped back their head coverings and pulled out a gun.

They made off with 4,500 euros ($7,100) seized from the staff and customers of the branch in Athis Mons, just south of Paris, according to the online edition of Le Parisien newspaper.

Police have opened an investigation.

France is seeking to restrict use of the head-to-toe Islamic veil on the grounds it is incompatible with French values, after a parliament report called for a ban in schools, hospitals, government offices and public transport.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-wing party has already presented a bill to make it illegal for anyone to cover their faces in public on security grounds.

Mr Sarkozy has declared the burqa “not welcome” in secular France and favours legislation to outlaw it, though he has warned against stigmatising Muslims.

According to the interior ministry, only around 1,900 women wear the burqa in France, which is home to Europe’s biggest Muslim minority.