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Australian law makers are calling for rules requiring Muslim women in full face veils to remove them at the request of law enforcement officers.

Muslim women would have to show their faces to police officers or risk a $5,500 fine and/or a prison sentence under proposed new laws in Australia’s most populous state.

The law proposed by the government of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, is set for a vote in August. It does not ban veils that reveal only the eyes. Insead motorists and criminal suspects would have to remove any head coverings so that police can identify them.

Belgium’s lower house of parliament last year voted for a law that would ban women from wearing the full Islamic face veil in public — matching such laws in France, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the veils “an affront to women’s dignity unwelcome in France.”

In northern Italy a Muslim woman has even been fined under anti-terrorism laws for wearing a burqa in public.

French Muslim imam Hassen Chalghoumi supports such bans. He is quoted in the the British newspaper The Telegraph saying that women who wanted to cover their faces should move to Muslim countries where covering was a tradition and that “The burqa is a prison for women, a tool of sexist domination and Islamist indoctrination.”

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