Australian State Toughens Law For Muslim Veils

Published March 5, 2012 12:54AM (EST)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Muslim women will have to remove face veils when having their signatures officially witnessed under the latest laws in New South Wales, Australia's most populous state.

State Attorney General Greg Smith said on Monday that officials who fail to check identities will face fines under laws recently approved by the state legislature.

The laws are a response to a notorious court case last year in which a Sydney woman was convicted of falsely claiming that a traffic policeman had attempted to remove her niqab — a veil that reveals only the eyes.

A judge overturned the conviction because the official who witnessed the false claim did not look under the veil of the person who made it, so the judge was not certain that the defendant was responsible.

By Salon Staff

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