Parties clash as Danish ban on face-covering garments enters into force
Supporters and opponents of a ban on garments covering the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa, clashed verbally today as the law takes effect.
Marcus Knuth of the ruling liberal party Venstre, says the dress worn by some conservative Muslim women is "strongly oppressive."
Sasha Andersen of the "Party Rebels" activist group, is planning a demonstration later in the day against what they called today a "discriminatory" measure against a minority group. Groups that back the ban also plan to rally.
Danish lawmakers approved the law in May, which was presented by the center-right governing coalition that is known for tightening asylum and immigration rules in recent years.
Other European countries have similar bans, claiming they are not aimed at any religion in particular and don't ban headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap.
The law allows people to cover their face when there is a "recognizable purpose" like cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, such as using motorcycle helmets required under Danish traffic rules.
First-time offenders risk a fine of 1,000 kroner (USD 157). Repeat offenses could trigger fines of up to 10,000 kroner or a jail sentence of up to six months.
Austria, France, and Belgium have similar laws.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)