Muslim Women in Europe – level 3
Last year, Dutch lawmakers approved laws which makes it illegal to wear burqas, niqabs, balaclavas, ski masks and full-face helmets in public buildings (such as in schools, hospitals and on public transportation).
The so-called “burqa ban” went into effect in the Netherlands recently, but some called it “unworkable.” The law says that if you are caught wearing one of the face-coverings, you must pay a fine, but police, hospitals and public transportation employees told reporters that enforcing the new law is not a priority for them.
The Netherlands is the latest European country to implement laws like this. Apart from Bulgaria, the countries are traditionally considered Western – Denmark, France, Belgium, and Austria all have bans against face coverings in public places.
Last year, the United Nations said that France’s ban violates Muslim women’s human rights and the laws could force the women to stay at home at all times.
Difficult words: burqa (a long piece of clothing which covers the whole body), niqab (clothing which covers all of the face apart from the eyes), balaclava (a type of mask which covers the face, typically worn in winter).
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