PARIS—France risked the wrath of the Islamic world on Tuesday by banning burqas and other full-body robes worn by some Muslim women, in a long-debated move that shows the depth of concern over the rise of Muslim culture in Europe.
The vote—passed primarily by the center-right party of President Nicolas Sarkozy, with most opposition Socialist Party lawmakers abstaining—came as a number of European countries are trying to figure out how to reconcile the values of modern Europe with more assertive expressions of Islamic faith.
Switzerland, for example, banned the construction of minarets after a referendum last year. Belgium and Spain are discussing measures to outlaw similar full-body cloaks. In Sweden, long known as one of Europe’s most tolerant societies, an anti-immigration party that has called for Swedish Muslims to integrate more is expected to win its first Parliamentary seat in this weekend’s elections.