Italy Asks Women Not to Wear Veils

April 25, 2007

Author: Silvia Aloisi

Source: The Boston Globe

Wire Service: AP

ROME -- Women in Italy should not wear veils that cover their face, according to new government guidelines for immigrants that were drawn up in consultation with representatives of the main faiths, including Muslims.

The document, presented by Interior Minister Giuliano Amato on Monday, is Rome's response to a growing debate in Europe over integration standards for Muslim minorities.

"Types of clothing that cover the face are not acceptable because they prevent the identification of the person and are an obstacle to the interaction with others," it says.

Several European countries have already set tougher integration standards for their Muslim communities in the past three years, after bomb attacks in Madrid and London and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a radical Islamist in the Netherlands.