Katie Couric's Notebook: Islamic Veils

It's the fashion capital of the world, but there's a heated debate in Paris right now over a garment you're unlikely to see on a runway.

Yesterday the French Senate overwhelming passed a ban on Islamic veils. If the law is deemed constitutional, a woman who wears a veil such as the burqa or niqab in public could be fined and ordered to take citizenship classes. Men who make women wear them face tougher punishment. Supporters say hiding ones face undermines the secular nature of French society.

The AP reports the ban would only impact two thousand women, despite the growing Muslim population in France.

Critics of this law say what is really being hidden...is a growing fear of the Muslim faith.

When a woman is forced to hide behind a veil, her rights are violated. But if she does it by choice and her government forbids it ... that can be a violation, too.

Discriminating against someone just because she's different... well that's never in style.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.

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