Denmark bans burqas and niqabs in public – Politicians say is not aimed at any religion
Denmark has voted to ban the niqab and burqa, becoming the fifth European country to pass such a law.
The law was proposed by the center-right Danish People’s Party which argued face veils were contrary to Danish values – but it insists the ban doesn’t target religious groups.
Technically the law bans any full-face garment where there is no ‘recognisable purpose’ for wearing it, such as cold weather or complying with laws such as wearing helmets on motorcycles. The law also applies to face coverings such as false beards and masks.
An earlier proposal that allowed prison sentences as punishment had been previously removed.
First-time offenders of the so-called burqa ban – which goes into effect on August 1 – will be fined 1,000 Danish crowns. The fine increases to 10,000 crowns after a fourth violation.
Denmark is the fifth European country to pass a complete ‘burqa ban’ in public, joining Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and France, which in 2001 became the first to do so.
In the Netherlands, face veils are banned in some public places, including schools, hospitals and public transport. A similar law is in effect in the German state of Bavaria.
The Swiss canton of Tessin has outlawed the religious clothing entirely in public.