NOVARA, Italy, May 3 (UPI) -- A woman wearing a burqa was stopped by Italian police under a recent ordinance that bans any clothing preventing identification of the wearer, officials say.
Although the foreign-born woman was identified by police after a series of spot checks, she is still liable for a $660 fine under the controversial decree which took effect in January, ANSA reported Monday.
"The ordinance is being applied in the instant case because the woman was inside the post office at the time, which is a public building," said Novara Police Chief Paolo Cortese.
Novara mayor Massimo Giordano of the Northern League party introduced the ordinance under the 1975 national anti-terrorism law forbidding any mask or clothing making it impossible to identify the wearer, ANSA said.
Mayor Giordano said his intention in issuing the ordinance was to deter women from covering up.
"There are still some people that refuse to understand that our community in Novara does not accept and does not want people going around wearing the burqa," Giordano said. "(It's) the only tool at our disposal to stop behavior that makes the already difficult process of integration even harder."