Denmark bans Islamic face coverings in public spaces

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Copenhagen, May 31 (IANS) Denmark’s Parliament on Thursday approved a law that bans certain types of Islamic face coverings in public places and punishes the infractions with fines.

The law, approved with 75 votes for and 30 against, bans any garment that covers the face, such as the naqab or the burqa, but does not apply to articles of clothing that have a recognized purpose, like winter clothes, costumes or protective gear, Efe reported.

The naqab is a form of veiling that covers the entire face except the eyes, while the burqa is a loose garment that covers the whole body except for the eyes, which are hidden behind a piece of mesh.

A first infraction would be met with a fine of around $157, but by the fourth infraction the punishment could go up to almost $1,570.

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It would be up to police and courts to determine whether certain garments violate the new law, which is to be enforced starting from August 1.

Other European countries, such as France and Austria, have similar policies in place.

–IANS

qd/bg

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