Denmark Bans Full-face Veil In Public Spaces

Credit PA

Credit PA

Fines would range from 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation.

Anyone forcing a person to wear garments covering the face by using force or threats can be fined or face up to two years in prison. The bans seemingly seek to restrict the proliferating expression of political Islam in Europe.

"It has taken nearly ten years to convince a majority in the parliament that we should ban burka and niqab in public spaces".

Supporters of the ban say that the coverings are "a form of female oppression, obstructs communication in schools and court rooms and presents a potential security hazard". While some believe that women should be allowed to choose what they wear - full-face coverings or not - some believe that such coverings oppress the women and it is nearly like they are not allowed to have a voice.

Full face veils have been previously banned in a number of European nations, including France, Belgium, Latvia, Bulgaria and the Swiss Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, with penalties ranging from $127 to $235.

Muslim women who wear a full-face veil are "a minority within a minority within a minority", says the paper's lead researcher Margit Warburg, a professor at the University of Copenhagen. "When you refuse me to see you, I am a victim".

Where else in Europe has similar laws?

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In a statement, Amnesty International said a ban was neither "necessary nor proportionate" and accused Denmark of violating freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

In February, when the Danish government formally proposed the face veil ban, Poulsen said that such veils were "disrespectful" to the community. Islamic face veils are perceived by many as oppressive toward women. Those who are repeat offenders will incur a more than $1,200 fine.

In October 2017, a burka ban entered into effect in Austria.

The Netherlands and Italy also have partial burqa bans, though they are confined to specific towns, public places, or jobs.

The new rule comes into force this summer and those who do not comply could be fined and even face a jail sentence.

Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, told NPR, that the new law has wider repercussions.

Justice Minister Pape Poulsen, head of Denmark's Conservative People's Party, also appeared to indicate that the bill targeted covered women.

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