• This week Denmark joined three other European countries – France, Belgium and Austria – in banning the burqa
  • Parliament voted on Thursday for the ban proposed by the center-right government, which says veils are contrary to Danish values and will take effect August 1

The Danish Parliament voted on Thursday to ban clothing that covers the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa in public spaces; becoming the latest European country to do so.

Danish lawmakers approved the law presented by the center-right governing coalition. The government stressed that the legislation is not aimed at any religion and does not ban headscarves, turbans or the kippah.

“Anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine,” says the law, which was passed by 75 votes to 30.

The new rule will take effect on August 1.

Image via Pixabay

Fines would range from 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation.

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed some restrictions on full-face veils in public places.

Denmark has struggled for decades with how to integrate non-Western immigrants into its welfare state. Public debate intensified in 2015 with the arrival of large groups of refugees from conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.

“This proposal also enables the police to define the zones where they have the power to issue double punishments. These will be called ‘special punishment zones’. This policy is inherently unjust. It unequivocally targets and punishes people for simply being born into ethnic minority and low income households,” Sukhraj Singh, a Sikh man living in Denmark said via Independent.