First Woman Fined in Denmark for Violating ‘Burqa Ban’ under New Law
A 28-year-old woman in Denmark has become the first to be fined for wearing a niqab under a new Danish “burqa ban” law forbidding full-face Islamic veils in public places.
As of August 1, 2018, wearing a burqa, which covers a person’s entire face, or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in public is banned in Denmark.
The law, which was approved by the Danish Parliament in May, also bans accessories that hide the face such as balaclavas, masks and false beards.
Police were called to a shopping center in Horsholm, Nordsjaelland, in Northeast Denmark on Friday where the 28-year-old woman wearing a niqab scuffled with another woman who tried to tear the niqab off her face, The Local Denmark and AFP report, citing the Ritzau news agency.
“During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again,” police duty officer David Borchersen said.
Police photographed the woman wearing the niqab, and obtained security camera footage from the shopping center of the incident.
She was told she would receive a fine of DKK 1,000 (EUR 134, USD 156) in the post, and was told to either remove her veil or leave the public space, and chose the latter.
Both women who took part in the incident in the shopping center in Horsholm, Nordsjaelland, have been charged with disturbing the peace, according to The Copenhagen Post newspaper.
While initial violations of wearing a burqa or a niqab in public bring a fine of DKK 1,000, repeated violations are punished with up to DKK 10,000.
A number of other EU member states – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, and Germany – have also instituted full or partial “burqa bans”, i.e. bans on Islamic full-face veils.
Human rights activists traditionally criticize such measures arguing they are denigrating or might backfire by causing radicalization among those affected.
Proponents of the ban argue they would facilitate the integration of the Muslim communities and help reduce security risks.
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