Muslim cleric says women should not defy ban on veils

A popular Muslim cleric has said that women should forgo wearing the veil in countries where it is banned.

While he criticised efforts in a number of European countries to outlaw the veil, Sheik Aedh al-Garni said that Muslim women should not challenge the ban in such nations at the risk of breaking the country's laws.

His ruling, or fatwa, was published on Saturday in Saudi's Al-Hayat newspaper. The ruling was made in response to a question from a Saudi woman in France about how to respond to the recent vote in parliament to ban the full-face veil, or niqab. Governments in Spain and Belgium are also considering prohibition.