Laws and regulations need to be sensitive to the people they govern.
At least two women have been detained in France while wearing Islamic veils across their faces, after a law banning the garment in public came into force.
Police said they were held not because of their veils but for joining an unauthorized protest against the ban.
France is the first country in Europe to publicly ban a form of dress some Muslims regard as a religious duty.
Anyone caught breaking the law will be liable to a fine of 150 euros (£133; $217) and a citizenship course.
People forcing women to wear the veil face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years.
It was not clear whether the women detained at the protest would also be fined for their veils.
They had taken part in a demonstration outside Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral. Police said the protest had not been authorised and so people were asked to move on. When they did not, they were arrested.
“Today was not about arresting people because of wearing the veil. It was for not having respected the requirement to declare a demonstration,” said police spokesman Alexis Marsan.
Under the law, any woman – French or foreign – walking on the street or in a park in France and wearing a face-concealing veil such as the niqab or burka can be stopped by police and given a fine.
It is a small fine, but symbolically this is a huge change, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris.
Guidelines issued to police say they should not ask women to remove their veils in the street, but should escort them to a police station where they would be asked to uncover their faces for identification.
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