Many parties in the Danish government have backed the suggestion of a restriction on full-face coverings.

Denmark looks set to become the latest European country to ban the burqa, just days after Austria’s restriction on the full-face veil came into effect.

Most political parties in the Scandinavian nation backed the suggestion of a prohibition on facial coverings, which include Islamic veils such as the niqab and burqa, according to recent reports.

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“This is not a ban on religious clothing, this is a ban on masking,” said Jacob Ellemann-Jensen, spokesman for the Liberal Party, Reuters reports.

Opposition party Social Democrats also said it would favour such a law, according to AP, although only around 200 women in Denmark are believed to wear the full-face veil.

 

“There will come a masking ban in Denmark. That’s how it is,” Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen added in a post on Facebook.

If a ban comes into force, Denmark will join other European nations including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, which have legally restricted the wearing of facial coverings in public.

France was the first European country to ban the burqa – a clampdown on students in state-run schools began in 2004, and the law came into full effect in April 2011. Anyone caught wearing the burqa or niqab is fined €150 (Dhs749).

However Belgium, which introduced a similar ban shortly after France, goes even further – anyone caught wearing the veil risks being jailed for up to seven days and fined €1,378 (Dhs5,685).

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Norway’s government have also signalled a similar ban could soon be enforced, after proposing in June to forbid the full-face veil in kindergartens, schools and universities for pupils and staff alike.

Earlier this year, the European Union’s top court ruled that employers are allowed to ban the “visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign”, including the hijab.

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