Denmark’s coalition parties, the Liberal (Venstre) and Liberal Alliance, both back a public ban on garments that mask the face, including the burqa and niqab.
As reported by The Local, the stance by Liberal Alliance represents a shift in the party’s official line on the issue. As for the Venstre, the senior party in the government, had waited before the announcement of an official line with opinion divided amongst its MPs.
“We in the Liberal party will support a ban on masking that will be forthcoming. It is not a religiously defined ban on masking, but the burqa and niqab will obviously be covered by it,” political spokesperson Jakob Ellemann-Jessen said according to DR.
Liberal Alliance, which was also previously against the proposal, has followed Venstre in pronouncing its support.
“Everyone agrees that the burqa is an expression of extreme oppression of women,” party leader Anders Samuelsen wrote in a Facebook post.
“Now there is a majority in parliament that thinks the burka/veiling should be fought… So if a ban like this is possible in practice without harming ourselves or our own values, then yes, LA will vote for it,” Samuelsen continued.
While burqas cover the face entirely with the wearer seeing through a mesh in the material, the niqabs have a slit through which the wearer’s eyes can be seen.