May 31, 2018

DENMARK: A Majority Of Danish Parliament Passes Ban On Islamic Burqa And Niqab Female Covering Starting August 1st.

The Local, Denmark
written by Staff
Thursday May 31, 2018

A majority in Denmark’s parliament has voted in favour of a ban on certain types of face-covering clothing in public, effectively banning the Islamic burqa and niqab from August 1st.

The Liberal, Conservative and Danish People’s parties all voted in favour of the bill, as did the opposition Social Democrats with the exception of MP Mette Gjerskov, thereby securing the majority.

MPs who are not ministers from Libertarian coalition partner Liberal Alliance voted against it, with the exception of one, Henrik Dahl, who voted in favour.

In total, the bill received 75 votes in favour and 30 votes against. Some MPs were absent from the vote in a so-called ‘clearing agreement’ in which all parties allow members to choose not to participate in a vote.

During the weeks-long parliamentary procedure of the bill, the government removed a provision allowing prison sentences as potential punishment for breaking the new law.

Violations of the anti-veil law will result in a 1,000 kroner (134 euros) fine for the first offence and up to 10,000 kroner for breaking the law for the fourth time or more.

The Danish People’s Party (DF) had earlier this week presented an amendment to the proposal that would have provided for prison sentences.

But with no broader support for the harsher punishment, DF voted in favour of the existing form of the bill.

Justice Minister Sรธren Pape Poulsen has previously stated that Danish police will not forcibly remove veils from women.

“I do not want police officers pulling items of clothing off people – burqas or otherwise. That is not going to happen,” Poulsen told Politiken last month.

“If they live nearby, they will be asked to go home,” Poulsen said at the time.

A further option would be for women to be accompanied to a police station, where they would be collected by a family member, he added.

France was in 2011 the first European country to ban Islamic veils in public by law. DF first raised the possibility of introducing such a ban in Denmark in 2009.

“Parliament has clearly stated that the burqa and niqab do not belong in Denmark. They are incompatible with Danish culture and the foundations on which Denmark is built,” DF's spokesperson on immigration issues Martin Henriksen said.

Asked whether it is Danish to deny individuals the right to choose what to wear, Henriksen said it was “always Danish to protect Denmark”.

“Of course, we have individual freedoms we must protect. But some people use them to promote an ideology that, if they are successful, will mean many more lose their freedoms,” he said.

The actual number of people who currently wear either the burqa or niqab in Denmark is not known precisely.

The most recent figures come from 2010, when a government report estimated the number to be between 150 and 200 women, with the majority of these wearing the niqab, rather than the burqa.

The niqab is a full veil with a small slit for the eyes, while the burqa is a full veil that covers the head and body with a mesh screen over the eyes.
The Telegraph, UK
written by Radhika Sanghani
August 17, 2017

The Coalition and opposition have rejected calls for a ban on the burka. But some countries have introduced the controversial law, most recently Switzerland, which enforced a ban on the full-face veil in July 2016. It means women wearing a burka (full body covering with mesh over the eyes) or niqab (full body covering with a slit for the eyes) could face fines of almost 10,000 euros.

UKIP has long wanted such a ban in the UK. While, in a speech in December last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for one in Germany: ”Show your face. The full covering is not permissible and should be banned."

Here is where Muslim women stand on wearing the veil across the world...


France was the first European country to ban the burqa in public. It started in 2004, with a clampdown on students in state-run schools displaying any form of religious symbol. But in April 2011, the government went further by bringing in a total public ban on full-face veils. President Nicolas Sarkozy saying they were “not welcome” in France.

Women can be subjected to 150 euro fines and instructions in citizenship for breaking the ban. Anyone who forces a woman to cover her face risks a 30,000 euro fine.


Belgium followed closely in France’s footsteps by introducing its own ban on full-face veils in 2011. It outlaws any clothing that obscures people’s faces in public places.

A woman caught wearing a veil can be jailed for up to seven days or forced to pay a 1378 euro fine. The government passed the law almost unanimously.

The Netherlands

In 2015, the Netherlands approved a partial ban on the full veil, meaning women cannot have their faces covered in schools, hospital and on public transport.

It doesn't completely outlaw the veil in public, but forbids it in "specific situations where it is essential for people to be seen" or for security reasons.


Italy does not have a national ban on the full-face veil, but in 2010, the town of Novara imposed restrictions – though there is currently no established fines system. In some parts of Italy, local authorities have banned ‘burkinis’ or full Islamic swimming costumes.


Several parts of Catalonia in Spain have laws against burkas and niqabs. In 2013, Spain’s Supreme Court overturned the ban in some parts, ruling that it “limits religious freedom”. But other areas have carried on - thanks to a 2014 ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) ruling that banning the veil does not breach human rights.


Women have been banned from wearing a full veil in Chad since two suicide bomb attacks in June 2015. The government banned it two days later. The prime minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet called it 'camouflage' and said all burqas seen on sale would be burnt. People could be arrested and sentenced to jail time for wearing them.


Cameroon followed suit a month after Chad by banning burkas following suicide bombings by people wearing veils. The ban is now active in five of the country’s provinces.


The veil is banned in Diffa, a region that has been hit by Boko Haram, and the president suggested the hijab – or headscarf – could also be banned.


The veil has been banned here since 2015 in public places to “prevent any attack of terrorism.”


Turkey has a predominantly Muslim population, but until 2013, there were rules banning women from wearing headscarves in the country’s state institutions. Women can now wear the veil everywhere bar in the judiciary, military and police.


The the latest country to pass a ban on the full-face veil, though it only stands in the region of Tessin. The law came into force on July 1, 2016 and anyone caught wearing a veil can be fined up to 9,200 euros.

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