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Denmark urges full use of rules limiting face veil

Denmark urges full use of rules limiting face veil

Denmark's government said Thursday that face-covering Muslim veils don't belong in Danish society but no ban is needed because their use can be limited under existing rules.
The center-right government said the burqa _ an all-covering dress _ and the niqab face veil are "diametrically opposed" to the values on which Danish society is built. It called for the full use of existing rules that allow schools, as well as both public and private employers, to demand that students, teachers and workers show their faces.
"The use of the burqa or niqab ... deprives women of the right to interact in the Danish society on equal footing with men and women who do not wear the burqa or niqab," the government said.
The statement followed months of discussion about whether Denmark should ban burqas and niqabs _ a debate also taking place elsewhere in Europe. In France, a parliamentary panel recommended Tuesday that all public services should be off-limits to Muslim women wearing them.
And Wednesday in Sweden, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said face-covering veils represent the oppression of women. But he said he didn't support a ban, because that would make some women more isolated.
While the debate in Europe is widespread, use of the veils is not. A report commissioned by the Danish government found that only two or three women in the country wear burqas, and perhaps 200 wear niqabs.
The government said it didn't base its position on the number of wearers but on the "extensive and humiliating limitations and difficulties" associated with the coverings.
The nationalist Danish People's Party _ a key ally of the minority government _ criticized the government's stance and said stronger action was needed to curb the use of face-covering veils.
"It is a pity that the government won't do anything about it," deputy party leader Peter Skaarup said.


Updated : 2021-08-05 09:01 GMT+08:00