COPENHAGEN – The Danish government announced Wednesday its plan to ban the full-face covering, known as niqab and burqa, in public places throughout the north European country, calling it “incompatible with the values of the Danish society or the respect for the community to keep the face hidden when meeting each other in the public space,” Justice Minister Justice Soren Pape Poulsen told The Independent.
Those who violate the decision will be fined with an amount of 1,000 kroner (£120) and up to 10,000 kroner (£1,200) if they are repeatedly caught.
“With a ban, we draw a line in the sand and establish that here in Denmark, we show each other trust and respect by meeting each other face-to-face,” the minister added.
The new regulation is supported by the Danish People’s Party, which the minority ruling coalition government depends on to push through legislation.
Since October 2017, the three parties, which form the governmental coalition, had announced their support for the ban.
According to The Independent, the law is expected to affect fewer than 200 women in Denmark.
Other full-face coverings, like Halloween costumes and sports mascots’ uniforms, will still be allowed.
Denmark will be the sixth European country to ban niqab in public areas after France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, and the German state of Bavaria.
In June 2017, Norway also proposed a ban on niqab in specific places like kindergartens, schools, and universities.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not just a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
As for the face veil, the majority of Muslim scholars believe that a woman is not obliged to cover her face or hands.
Scholars, however, believe that it is up to women to decide whether to cover their faces.