Denmark to become next European country to ban the niqab in public

Denmark is likely to become the next country in Europe to introduce a national ban on the niqab in public places.

The government said it plans to fine people who wore items including the niqab and the burqa which are worn by some Muslim women.

Under the planned proposals, anyone found covering their face would be fined 1,000 kroner (£120), or up to 10,000 kroner (£1,200) if they are caught “re-offending”.

Justice Minister, Soren Pape Poulsen, said: “It is incompatible with the values of the Danish society or the respect for the community to keep the face hidden when meeting each other in the public space.

“With a ban, we draw a line in the sand and establish that here in Denmark we show each other trust and respect by meeting each other face to face.”

The three political parties which make up the current coalition had said last October they would all support the ban.

Fancy dress masks and outfits for Halloween or for sports mascots will still be allowed.

France, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Belgium and the German state of Bavaria have all implemented restrictions on the niqab and burqa in public.

Following legal challenges to Belgium’s 2011 national ban, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld the country’s right to implement the ban in full.

Judges said it did not violate the rights to private and family life, or freedom of religion or discrimination laws.

In June 2017, Norway’s government proposed a ban on the niqab and burqa in universities, schools and kindergartens.

The hijab however remains legal in these countries.

 

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