It seems that we are on a seesaw here. A few days ago a political party in Germany stated that they will build an anti-Islamic center. Then yesterday, the President of France told the French that they should tolerate Islam. Today Denmark takes a jab at Islam, and it seems like things are changing for the better in Europe. Lets hope that they keep up fight!
Denmark to curb use of Islamic veils
Thursday, 28 Jan, 2010
COPENHAGEN: Denmark said Thursday it would limit the use in public of the face-covering burka and niqab veils worn by some Muslim women but stopped short of introducing a law banning the garments, AFP reported.
Stating the veils had “no place in Danish society,” the centre-right government said it would not enact a general ban but would allow schools, public authorities and companies to put in place their own restrictions.
It also said it would present a bill shortly making it illegal to force a woman to wear a burka or niqab and another bill requiring witnesses in courtrooms to lift their veil to identify themselves.
“The burka and the niqab have no place in Danish society and the government is determined to combat this view of humanity and women,” read a statement from the office of Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen.
It urged authorities to restrict the use of the veils “as much as possible.” Denmark has had tense relations with its Muslim minority following the publishing in 2005 of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed that were considered blasphemous and insulting by much of the Islamic world.
The minority government, which relies on the support of the far-right Danish People’s Party in passing legislation, said that a general ban on the burka and niqab veils however would violate Denmark’s constitution.
“Primary and high schools, universities and other learning institutes can legally require teachers and students to show their faces so that communication… can be open and fair,” the statement said.
Public sector employers will also be allowed to require their employees — teachers, home care, health care, daycare and social workers — to show their faces when interacting with people on the job.
Public sector employees will also be allowed to require a woman whose case is being examined by authorities “to lift her veil in order to see her reaction and assess her credibility.”
The government said public agencies and privately-run companies would be allowed to ask a woman to remove her veil “in order to confirm her identity” at border controls and when travelling on public transport.
A government-commissioned study by the University of Copenhagen published earlier this month claimed that “the use of the burka and niqab have major consequences for women.”
It said the veils “limit their access to education and employment, as well as their freedom and confine them to isolation and economic dependence” on men.
The government’s planned legislation would make forcing a woman to wear a burka or niqab an offence punishable by up to four years in prison.
Islam is Denmark’s second-biggest religion behind the Evangelical Lutheran Church, with more than 200,000 Muslims in the Scandinavian country, representing about 3.5 percent of the population of 5.5 million.
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