Denmark Officially Bans The Burqa

Denmark has voted to ban the niqab and burqa, becoming the fifth European country to pass such a law.

Lawmakers voted 75-30 in favour of the legislation which had been put forward by the governing centre-right coalition.

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.

Politicians insist the law does not target any religion, but it has become known colloquially as the ‘burqa ban’.

Headscarves, turbans and Jewish skull caps will not be affected by the law.

Justice Minister Soeren Pape Poulsen said that it will be up to police to use their ‘common sense’ when enforcing the law, which will apply from August 1.

First-time offenders risk a fine of 1,000 kroner (£118). Repeat offenses could trigger fines of up to 10,000 kroner (£1,180) or a jail sentence of up to six months.

Anyone forcing a person to wear garments covering the face using violence or threats can be fined or face up to two years in prison.

There are around 310,000 Muslims in Denmark, according to the Pew Research Center, and most do no wear a veil.

Denmark joins Austria, France, Belgium and Bulgaria which already have similar nationwide laws.

 

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