Video: Protest over French veil ban leads to arrests

  1. Closed captioning of: Protest over French veil ban leads to arrests

    >>> back now with a tense tug of war that pits women, what they wear, and hot they believe right in the middle. in a move that has greatly upset the growing muslim community in france, the french government today started enforcing a controversial new law that makes it illegal to cover one's face in public. a common religious practice for some muslim women , and not all of them are going along with it. nbc's george lewis is with us from paris. good evening.

    >> reporter: brian, a minority of muslim women here believe that covering their faces is a sign of respect to god, that banning that practice is an afront to religious freedom . outside paris' famed notre dame cathedral , police arrested two protesters who defied the new law. violators face a fine of $150 euros. that's a fine of about $250.

    >> translator: this is an attack on my freedom of conscience , my freedom of religion , this woman said. the law passed through parliament last year by president csarkozy and his party was controversy. some call it bigotry. proponents of the law say wearing the veil demeans women and it's important for the state to support secular value.

    >> in order to improve integration in the french society , we must take some measures against the extreme behaviors like wearing a burqa in the street in public places . this cannot be accepted. it is rejected by the majority of the french population .

    >> muslims are a growing minority here, changing the face of europe. now france is insisting the face be visible in europe. muslims worry other countries will try to pass other laws. meanwhile, they're saying they're not sure they can enforce this law.

    >> george lewis with us from

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