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Spain: Supreme Court Overturns Burqa Ban
by Soeren Kern
The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that a municipal ordinance banning the wearing of Islamic burqas in public spaces is unconstitutional.
In its 56-page ruling, made public on February 28, the Madrid-based Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) said the Catalan city of Lérida exceeded its authority when, in December 2010, it imposed a burqa ban.
The court said the ban on burqas, a traditional Islamic costume that covers women from head to toe, "constitutes a limitation to the fundamental right to the exercise of the freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution." The court said that the limitation of a fundamental right can only be achieved through laws at the national level, not through local ordinances.
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