'Outlawing the Face Veil in Denmark ' by Andrew Kelly
On May 31, 2018, the Danish government voted to ban the wearing of face veils in public. Under the law, police will be able to instruct women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas. Fines will range from 1,000 to 10,000 crowns ($160 - $1600).. The ban would prevent Muslim women from wearing the niqab or burqa in public.
Some politicians asserted that the law promoted public safety and secular and democratic values. But many people felt it was an easy way for the government to appease a growing nationalist voter base. Numerous social media campaigns in Denmark have demanded stricter laws on non-western immigrants, a reflection of rising populism in Europe. Denmark has struggled with integrating non-western immigrants, resulting in what have been labelled “parallel societies” within the country.
An estimated 150-200 women wear the niqab daily in Denmark (pop 5.5 million) according to a University of Copenhagen study.