Denmark is preparing a ban on full-face coverings such as the niqab and the burqa after a majority of parliament backed a law change Friday.
A majority of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have announced their intention to vote in favor of what local media calls a “Burqa ban.” France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria have all imposed similar restrictions in recent years with politicians citing oppression of women as one of the main reasons.
“Oppression of women is extremely illiberal,” Jan E. Jørgensen of the Danish Left party told public broadcaster DR. “On the other hand, it’s also extremely illiberal to tell people what they can and can’t wear.”
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen of Denmark’s center-right government said the ban was not particularly aimed at religions clothing.
“This is not a ban on religious clothing, this is a ban on masking,” Ellemann-Jensen told reporters.
Austria’s burqa ban took effect Sunday as part of a number of “integration laws” passed in May. The government said the laws are meant to teach immigrants “acceptance and respect of Austrian values.” (RELATED: Laws To Force ‘Acceptance And Respect Of Austrian Values’ Take Effect)
“Acceptance and respect of Austrian values are basic conditions for successful cohabitation between the majority Austrian population and people from third countries living in Austria,” the government said after passing the law.
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