Danish Parliament Passes Ban on Burqa and Niqab

A majority in Denmark’s parliament has voted in favour of a ban on certain types of face-covering clothing in public, effectively banning the Islamic burqa and niqab from August 1st

The Liberal, Conservative and Danish People’s parties all voted in favour of the bill, as did the opposition Social Democrats with the exception of MP Mette Gjerskov, thereby securing the majority.

MPs who are not ministers from Libertarian coalition partner Liberal Alliance voted against it, with the exception of one, Henrik Dahl, who voted in favour.

In total, the bill received 75 votes in favour and 30 votes against. Some MPs were absent from the vote in a so-called ‘clearing agreement’ in which all parties allow members to choose not to participate in a vote.

During the weeks-long parliamentary procedure of the bill, the government removed a provision allowing prison sentences as potential punishment for breaking the new law.

Violations of the anti-veil law will result in a 1,000 kroner (134 euros) fine for the first offence and up to 10,000 kroner for breaking the law for the fourth time or more.

The Danish People’s Party (DF) had earlier this week presented an amendment to the proposal that would have provided for prison sentences.

But with no broader support for the harsher punishment, DF voted in favour of the existing form of the bill.

Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen has previously stated that Danish police will not forcibly remove veils from women.

“I do not want…

Read more