The background to the French parliamentary commission on the burqa and niqab examines how André Gerin, the Communist Party mayor of Vénissieux, ignited the debate on the voile intégral in a country where, it is estimated, that a total of 2,000 women wear the burqa. It describes the various arguments used to justify the ban from upholding laïcité to opposing the rise of Salafism and defending the freedom and dignity of women.
Download Briefing Paper no.3: The background to the French parliamentary commission on the burqa and niqab (pdf file, 145kb)
Download Briefing Paper no.2: Direct democracy, racism and the extreme Right (pdf file, 200kb)
Download Briefing Paper no.1: The Swiss referendum on minarets: background and aftermath (pdf file, 152kb)