Red: Veil or head scarf is banned; Yellow: Veil or head scarf was previously banned; Green: Veil or head scarf is mandatory.

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld France's controversial law banning Islamic veils in public. France implemented the law in 2011, the first European country to do so. The ruling is particularly noteworthy because France has Europe's largest Muslim population. Here is a look at how other countries handle the hijab, or a head scarf, and the veil, which covers the whole face except the eyes.


Belgium: After France's ban in 2011, Belgium followed suit and later that year also banned the full Muslim veil. Those who break the law are issued a fine and can serve up to a week in jail.

Tunisia: Wearing Islamic head scarves and full veils in public has been banned since 1981. After the revolution and ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, there have been calls to do away with the ban, but it is still in effect.


Saudi Arabia: Women must wear a long cloak that covers their arms and legs. Their heads should also be covered in public. This applies to non-Muslim women, too.

Iran: Women must wear loose-fitting clothing and have their heads covered.


Turkey: The secular government removed restrictions on head scarves last year, allowing teachers and government workers to wear head scarves. The attire is still banned in military, police and judiciary jobs.

Syria: In 2011, President Bassar al-Assad reversed a ban he had implemented less than a year earlier. The law had forbidden teachers from wearing a full Islamic veil.