COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Becoming the latest European country to ban the Islamic full-face veils in public, Denmark announced the move on Wednesday.
The Danish government proposed a ban on the Islamic full-face veil in public in a statement saying that the controversial religious garment is ‘disrespectful’ to the community.
The move comes in light of a movement to ban the burqa/niqab that is sweeping across Europe.
The Danish Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen said in a statement, “It is incompatible with the values in Danish society and disrespectful to the community to keep one’s face hidden when meeting each other in public spaces. With a ban on covering the face, we are drawing a line in the sand and underlining that in Denmark we show each other trust and respect by meeting face-to-face.”
The full veil called the burqa covers the head and body with a mesh screen over the eyes, while the niqab is a full veil with a small slit for the eyes.
Now, the proposal made by the government will be assessed by non-governmental human rights organizations.
Then, it will possibly be rewritten to take their remarks into consideration.
According to officials, the centre-right government is expected to present a bill to parliament in the spring.
The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, which is the country’s second largest party has supported the proposed legislation, which will make it likely to be adopted.
The proposal reportedly states that a violation of the ban would lead to a fine of 1000 kroner ($166).
Further, repeated violators would be fined up to 10,000 kroner ($2100).
According to documents, the proposed ban says the “burqa, niqab and balaclavas where only eyes and mouth are visible are examples of clothes that hide the face.”
Poulsen also clarified, “I don’t think there are many who wear the burqa here in Denmark. But if you do, you should be punished with a fine.”
Last year, the European Court of Human Rights upheld a Belgian ban on wearing burqas in public.
In 2011, France became the first European country to ban the niqab in public places.