Denmark bans face veils in public

By Davut Colak

COPENHAGEN (AA) – Denmark on Wednesday imposed a controversial ban on the wearing of face veils in public.

Violators will be punished with a fine of up to 1,000 kroner ($156). Repeat offenders could be imposed fines of up to 10,000 kroner ($1,224).

The law was approved in the Danish parliament this May in a 75-30 vote with 74 absentees.

However, the legislation described as "discriminatory" caused outrage.

In Europe, Austria, France, and Belgium have similar laws.

French business executive of Algerian origins, Rachid Nekkaz, has launched a fund against the burqa ban, which he called "illegal", and paid over 500 fines in six countries.

Nekkaz also announced that he would pay the fines in Denmark.

According to a 2010 study by the University of Copenhagen, only 150-200 women wear the Islamic face veil in Denmark, and only three women wear burqa.

It is estimated that Muslims account for about 7 percent out of the total population of 5.6 million in Denmark.

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