Rabat - Denmark has passed a “burqa ban,” a law making it illegal to wear a “garment that hides the face in public.”
Rabat – Denmark has passed a “burqa ban,” a law making it illegal to wear a “garment that hides the face in public.”
The law, which will take effect August 1, was passed yesterday by an overwhelming majority in the Danish Parliament with 75 votes to 30.
The ban imposes a fine of DKK 1,000 (MAD 1,490) on first time offenders, but the fine increases tenfold after the fourth offense. Notably, the ban will include fake beards and ski masks that cover the face, but will not include clothing such as scarves in cold weather or masks worn on holidays like Halloween.
Several European countries have banned women from wearing burqas or niqabs, including France, Belgium, and Austria. More European and African countries have introduced partial bans, including Spain, Italy, Chad, and Cameroon.
In January 2017, Morocco banned the production and sale of burqas, but the kingdom does not prevent individuals from wearing them in public.
While Denmark’s ban was praised by Danish Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen, Amnesty International’s Europe director, Gauri van Gulik, criticized the law’s restriction on freedom of expression.
“If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights, it fails abjectly. Instead, the law criminalises women for their choice of clothing and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.”