Protest held against burqa ban in Denmark Photogallery

Protests expected as Denmark's veil ban begins

Protests expected as Denmark's veil ban begins

It includes full-face veils like the niqab, balaclavas, face-covering ski masks, face masks and fake beards, but not protective masks.

Fines will range from 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation.

Muslims and their allies protested against a new law in Denmark banning religious clothing used by the religious minority. But the bans are seen as directed against the niqab and burqa. They formed a human chain around the station and then marched back to Norrebro before dispersing. Protesters included a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim Danes, chanting slogans such as "no racists in our streets" and "my life, my choice".

We will remind, Denmark joined other European countries in which a ban on the wearing in public places clothing that covers the face, particularly the niqab and the burqa.

On August 1, when face veils are banned in Denmark, Sabina will not be leaving her niqab at home.

As of 2017, non-Western immigrants account for 8.7 percent of Denmark's 5.7 million population.

Last year, the European Court of Human Rights upheld Belgium's ban on the wearing of face veils in public, ruling that the country could be allowed to implement it in order to enhance people's ability to "live together" pursuant to the "protection of rights of others".

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"It is incompatible with the values of the Danish society or the respect for the community to keep the face hidden when meeting each other in the public space", Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen said at the time. Still, protesters believe the ban targets conservative Muslim women who wear niqabs and burqas. "But I don't think wearing a niqab means you can't engage yourself in Danish values", Meryem said.

A 30-year-old Muslim woman interviewed ahead of the protests in the daily Berlingske, identified only as Sarah, said she had "lost faith in the system".

Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab outside the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.

"I've realized that democracy doesn't work. But when it comes to me, they take away my right to choose how I want to dress", she told Berlinske.

"I feel this law legitimizes acts of hatred but, on the other hand, I feel people have become more aware of what is going on. So much of politics is hypocritical".

Danish supporters and opponents of the ban clashed verbally Wednesday as the law took effect.

Hundreds of people rallied in the capital Copenhagen, some of them wearing the full-face veil. But Muslim organisations say the law is part of a broader attack on Muslim culture, stoked by the country's populist right, that is gradually encroaching on their religious freedom. Amnesty International issued a statement describing the legislation as a "discriminatory violation of women's rights".

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