An Italian parliamentary commission approved a draft law on Tuesday that would ban women from wearing veils that cover their face in public.
The law will be forwarded to the Italian parliament following summer recess, and if the law passes, Italy would be the third European country to ban face veils following France and Belgium.
The law was sponsored by Souad Sbai, a member of the conservative Freedom People Party born in Morocco. He has stated in a phone interview, “Five years ago, no-one wore the burqa in Italy. Today, there is always more. We have to help women get out of this segregation … to get out of this submission.”
Sbai added that according to some reports an estimated 3,000 women across Italy cover their faces.
Some critics have called the ban racist since the majority of female Muslims across Europe do not actually wear the veil and argue that Islam does not require women to go out in public with a fully covered face.
If passed, Italy’s ban will fine third parties that force women to cover their face in public 30,000 Euros and they could face up to 12 months in jail.