Denmark: Proposal to ban veils

The Danish People's Party wants a total ban on veils in Denmark, but both the opposition and the government don't support it.

Pia Kjærsgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party, said in an interview: "I want the headscarf to be completely banned in Danish society.  It is oppressive and I cannot tolerate it."  She suggested to start with schools and institutions.

Kjærsgaard is not talking about Jewish skullcaps and Christian crosses, saying they're not the same and are not religious laws.

According to a survey 46% of Danes support a ban on veils in schools.  

Education minister  Bertel Haarder said veils are an undesirable signal that people don't want anything to do with each other, however, he adds that it is quite a jump to ban veils in schools.  He prefers that some girls will go around with a veil who would prefer not to rather then having girls walk around without a veil and feeling that their freedom is being limited by the state.  He doesn't want a law deciding what people wear on their heads.

Schools today already ban the niqab and burqa, which cover the whole face, due to objective reasons which have nothing to do with Islam.  In an educational institution the face must be seen, and the same goes for the public sector.  

There are laws against the veil in France and Turkey, but Haarder points out that they are secular societies and all religious symbols are banned and that is not something he wants to see in Denmark.

Source: Berlingske (Danish)

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