Barcelona to Ban Burqa in Municipal Buildings

June 14, 2010 - 9:18 AM
Madrid (AP) - Barcelona is to become the first major Spanish city to bar the use of face-covering Islamic veils in municipal buildings.
 
City Mayor Jordi Hereu announced the measure Monday but insisted it was not specifically religious. He says it is aimed at all dress that impedes identification, and thus includes motorcycle helmets and ski masks.
 
Lleida, also in the Spanish region of Catalonia, last month became the first Spanish city to regulate use of body-covering burqas or face-covering niqab garments.
 
Authorities in several European countries have been debating regulating the use of burqas in recent months.
 
Barcelona town hall said the measure was largely symbolic given that it is unusual to see women wearing burqas or niqabs in the city, which has a population of 1.5 million.