By: Steve Dellar | 05-31-2018 | News
Photo credit: Adwo |

Denmark - Parliament Passes ‘Burqa-Ban’ - Fines Up to $1,500

The Danish parliament voted 75 against 30 in favor of installing a law that bans any full-face garment where there is, specifically, no 'recognizable purpose' for wearing it (aka, wearing a helmet on a motorcycle or a bonnet during cold weather is still allowed).

Even though the centre-right government was quick to point out that it did not target any religion, the Danish media dubbed it the ‘burqa-ban’ as the Scandinavian country now becomes the fifth European country to pass such a law.

Before, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and France had already passed similar legislation. The Netherlands and Italy meanwhile have partial burqa bans (but these are limited to specific towns, public places, or jobs).

Muslim organisations were quick to point out that headscarves, turbans and Jewish skull caps are not be affected by the law.

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Ms Gauri van Gulik, Europe’s director for Amnesty International, claimed: “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.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Denmark bans wearing the burqa and the niqab in public <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; POLITICO Europe (@POLITICOEurope) <a href="">May 31, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“Whilst some specific restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils for public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate and violates the rights to freedom of expression and religion.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Denmark joins Austria, France, Belgium and Bulgaria to <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BanTheBurka</a>. Canada should follow in their footsteps. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Tarek Fatah ਤਾਰੇਕ ਫਤਹ (@TarekFatah) <a href="">May 31, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights, it fails abjectly. Instead, the law criminalizes women for their choice of clothing, and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.”

Justice Minister Soeren Pape Poulsen stated that, just as in the other European nations that have adopted the regulation, police would need to use 'common sense' when enforcing it. If someone is caught wearing the garment a first time, they risk a fine of $150. For repeat offenders, this can go up to $1,500 with a jail sentence of up to six months. Furthermore, anyone forcing a person to wear a burqa or niqab in publc risks a fine as well together with a prison sentence of maximum two years.


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