Most Western Europeans are in favor of prohibiting Islamic veils known as burqas, but there is little support for laws on face-covering scarves in the United States, a new poll has shown.
A survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, conducted April 7 to May 8, interviewed 24,790 people in 22 countries. In France -- where members of Parliament are expected to vote on a burqa-banning bill July 13 -- there is staggering support for the ban. By contrast, a mere 28 percent of those polled in the U.S. would endorse such laws.
The burqa has taken a beating across Europe in recent months, with Belgium hastily prepping its own laws against their use and Barcelona becoming the first large city in Spain to ban them in public places.
See the results of the survey here:
President Nicolas Sarkozy said he supports a ban on burqas because they "are a sign of debasement and enslavement."
Former Social Democratic parliamentarian Lale Akgun, who is partly of Turkish descent, once called the burqa "a full-body prison that deeply threatens human rights."
British Labour Party politician Jack Straw has taken heat from Muslim groups when he revealed asking Muslim women to remove their veils during face-to-face meetings in his office.
In June, Mayor Jordi Hereu announced that Barcelona would be the first large city in Spain to ban the use of the full-face Islamic veil in public buildings.
Oprah Winfrey poses with a burqa-wearing woman who was sexually assaulted in her native Afghanistan.