Danish ban on burqa goes into effect

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Copenhagen, Aug 1 (IANS) A Danish ban on garments covering the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa, went into force on Wednesday.

With 75 votes in favour and 30 votes against, the Danish Parliament adopted the act on May 31.

The legislation said “anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The government said it was not aimed at any religion and does not ban headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap. Moreover, it allows people to cover their face when there is a “recognizable purpose” such as cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, for example using motorcycle helmets under Danish traffic rules.

Violation of the law will result in a fine ranging from 1,000 Danish kroner ($150) to 10,000 kroner (about $1,504) for repeat offenders.

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France became the first European country to ban Islamic veils in public in 2011.

–IANS

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