Denmark is set to become the next country to ban women from wearing full face veils in public, after most of parties in the country’s parliament backed the move.
This would effectively mean a ban on Muslim women wearing burqas and niqabs. A niqab is a veil that covers everything except the eyes, and a burqa also covers the eyes with a transparent veil.
Ukip called for a ban on the garments in the UK in its manifesto in the run-up to the 2017 General Election, but then-leader Paul Nuttal was widely criticised for the ‘attack on Muslims’.
If Denmark goes through with the ban it will join a number of European countries where face coverings are not permitted.
France banned the wearing of burqas and niqabs in public in 2011, making it the first European country to forbid full face coverings.
Women can be fined €150 for wearing one of the garments, and anyone found to have forced a woman to wear one can be fined up to €30,000.
A ban on full-face coverings was brought into force in Austria on 1 October this year, ruling that in public a person’s face must be visible from their hairline to their chin.
The ban covers ski masks and clown make-up as well as religious garments.
Police are permitted to use force to compel people to show their faces, and anyone caught breaking the ban can be fined €150.
A number of Muslim women were forced to remove their veils on the day the ban came into effect.
Belgium banned burqas and niqabs shortly after France. The punishment for wearing an item that covers the face in public is up to €1,378, and up to seven days in jail.
The Netherlands has banned the wearing of full-face coverings in hospitals, schools and on public transport. The ban also applies to ‘specific situations where it is essential for people to be seen’.
The Bulgarian parliament backed a ban on burqas in October 2016 and brought in legislation that means women caught breaking the ban will have their benefits cut.