France's parliament is set to vote on proposed legislation banning the wearing of face veils in public places.
If passed, prospective punishments for those violating the law include imprisonment and a hefty fine.
Violators of the ban may also be forced to take educational classes on how to be a proper French citizen in a country home to five million Muslims.
Rights groups have criticised the bill for being demeaning and stifling freedom of expression.
Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee reports.
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