France says only 6 women fined for wearing forbidden veil in 8 months since law passed

Paris, France - France’s interior minister says that since a ban on face-covering Islamic veils took effect in April only six women have been convicted and fined.

Claude Gueant said in an interview with the daily Le Monde published Monday that no woman has been sent to a citizenship class — another potential punishment.

Controversy surrounded the law. Muslim leaders, most of them opposed to burqa-style veils, say the it stigmatizes all followers of Islam.

Gueant says police cited a total of 237 women but only six were convicted. He expressed surprise that nearly a quarter of the women police questioned had converted to Islam.

Backers say the law is aimed at ensuring France’s secular values and gender equality and nipping radical Islam in the bud.