Danish Muslims defy niqab ban

Danish Muslims defy niqab ban

Hundreds of Muslim women in Denmark will defiantly wear niqabs when a nationwide ban on the face veil comes into action this week.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Hundreds of Muslim women in Denmark will defiantly wear niqabs when a nationwide ban on the face veil comes into action this week.

Fines of up to 10,000 Danish crowns (£1,200) have not discouraged women who plan to protest on Wednesday along with non-Muslim Danes.

In May, Denmark became the fifth European nation to outlaw full-face veils.

Under the law, police will be able to instruct women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas.

Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen said officers would fine them and tell them to go home.

Reuters reported that fines will range from 1,000 Danish crowns (£120) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation.

'I won't take my niqab off. If I must take it off I want to do it because it is a reflection of my own choice,' said 21-year-old student Sabina, who wants to be a teacher.

She will take to the streets for a rally with group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), who argue the right to express religious or cultural identity.

Meryem, 20, also providing just her first name for fear of harassment, was born to Turkish parents in Denmark and has always worn the niqab.

'Everybody wants to define what Danish values are,' she said.

'I believe that you have to integrate yourself in society, that you should get an education and so forth.

'Wearing a niqab does not mean you can't engage yourself in Danish values.'

As of 2017, non-Western immigrants account for 8.7 percent of Denmark's 5.7 million population.

Around half a million are from Muslim backgrounds, a group that swelled with Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian refugees crossing Europe.

Other European nations Austria, France, Belgium and Bulgaria have similar nationwide bans on full-face veils.

A 37-year-old woman, known only as Ayah, said while the law would only 'legitimise acts of hatred', curious locals 'have become more aware of what is going on'.

'I get more smiles on the street and people are asking me more questions.'

A Copenhagen jewellery maker supporting the Aug 1 rally by Kvinder I Dialog added:

'I'm not for or against the niqab. I'm for the right of the people to wear whatever they want whether they be a Muslim or a punk.


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