Denmark Becomes Fifth European Country To Ban Burka
Denmark has become the fifth country in Europe to ban the niqab and burqa in a move that has been slated as ‘neither necessary nor proportionate’.
Lawmakers voted 75-30 in favour of the legislation, meaning Denmark now stands alongside Austria, France, Belgium and Bulgaria in the stance against the headdress.
The government says the ban is not aimed at any religions and doesn’t discriminate against headscarves, turbans or Jewish skull caps.
Anyone caught violating the law will be fined 1,000 kroner (£118), The Guardian reports.
The social media reaction is split:
Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, said:
All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs.
This ban will have a particularly negative impact on Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab or burqa.
Whilst some specific restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils for the purposes of public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate and violates the rights to freedom of expression and religion.
If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights it fails abjectly. Instead, the law criminalises women for their choice of clothing and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.
Last year, results from a YouGov/Times survey showed that almost half (48 per cent) would support a law against wearing a full body and face veil. By contrast, 42 per cent say people should be allowed to decide for themselves what to wear.
This gap narrowed ever so slightly since the question was last asked in December, when 50 per cent of people supported a ban compared to 38 per cent who opposed.
The law will come into force on August 1.
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