Time appears to be running out for the burqa in France.
The country's parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a controversial ban against face-concealing veils in public, the New York Post reports.
The bill passed with a whopping 336 votes in favor and just one against, however, several members of the opposition Socialist Party refused to take part, according to the paper.
Though some reportedly argue that a ban against the Muslim veil -- which has been branded "an affront to French values" by French lawmakers -- would be unconstitutional, it could go into effect as early as September.
As we've previously reported, the ban would prohibit women from wearing burqas in public places, including city streets, schools, and hospitals.
Those who violate the ban -- which is thought to affect less than 2,000 women, sources tell the Post -- will be subject to either a $189 fine or mandatory citizenship classes (or both), while men who demand that their wives wear the veil could face a much more serious fine of $37,900 and a year in jail, according to the paper.
What's your take? Is a burqa ban a step towards equality for women, or a sign of cultural intolerance? Leave a comment!
In related news, read about Belgium's ground-breaking burqa ban.