Joining France and other European countries, Denmark has banned the wearing of face veils in public, thereby outlawing the burqa and the niqab.
Under the new law, police and other law enforcement authorities can demand women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas. Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen has said that officers would in practice fine them and ask them ‘to go home’.
Fines is determined as 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed some restrictions on full-face veils in public places.
Denmark has struggled for decades with how to integrate non-Western immigrants into its welfare state. Public debate intensified in 2015 with the arrival of large groups of refugees from conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party became the second-largest party in an election that year and now supports the coalition government in parliament