‘Incompatible with Danish values’: Denmark plans face veil ban with hefty fines for offenders
Denmark’s government has announced it plans to fine people for covering their face in public, while the left-wing opposition wants a cap on ‘non-Western foreigners’ entering the country.
The center-right government announced on Tuesday that it plans to bring forth legislation making it illegal for people to cover their faces in public. The proposals include fines of up to 10,000 Danish kroner ($1,660) for repeat offenders, Reuters reports.
The move echoes other European nations, such as France, which restricts the wearing of Muslim garments like the burqa and the niqab. Opponents say the wearing of such clothing is oppressive to women and/or incompatible with so-called ‘Western values.’
“It is incompatible with the values of the Danish society or the respect for the community to keep the face hidden when meeting each other in the public space,” Justice Minister, and Danish Conservative Party leader, Soren Pape Poulsen said.
“With a ban, we draw a line in the sand and establish that here in Denmark we show each other trust and respect by meeting each other face to face,” he added.
The proposed ban is backed by parties from across the political spectrum, including the far-right Danish People’s Party (DPP/Dansk Folkeparti), and the country’s largest opposition party, the centre-left Social Democrats (Socialdemokratiet).
The latter has also announced plans designed to slash the number of “non-Western” foreigners entering Denmark. “We want to introduce a cap on the number of non-Western foreigners who can come to Denmark,” AFP quotes Social Democrats leader Mette Frederiksen as saying.
“We want to reform our asylum system, among other things, by setting up reception centres outside Europe, and in the future it will not be possible for refugees to obtain asylum in Denmark outside quotas set by the United Nations,” she added.
Two other leftist parties, the socialist Red-Green Alliance and the Danish Social Liberal party, rejected the proposals calling them “unrealistic.’
Responding to criticism the Social Democrats wrote on Twitter: “Several have called our proposals unrealistic. We do not claim it is easy. But it is certainly not impossible.”
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