Muslim woman in burqa (illustration)
Muslim woman in burqa (illustration)Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Denmark is set to become the next European country to ban burqas and face-concealing headscarves, worn mainly by Muslim women, following Belgium, France, Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Austria.

Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, the spokesperson for the ruling Liberal Venstre Party, the senior party in the ruling coalition told the Danish broadcaster DR, "The forthcoming ban on face covering will receive backing from Venstre.” He added that the ban will not be "a religiously defined ban but it will still obviously cover burqa and niqab.”

Ellemann-Jensen stressed that that the law would not prohibit the wearing of head-coverings, such as scarves, turbans or skullcaps, and said that most members of Parliament in Newmarket supported the new bill.

Another party in the coalition, the Liberal Alliance, has changed its stance towards the measure and now favors the ban.

"Everyone agrees that the burqa is an expression of extreme oppression of women,” Liberal Alliance leader Anders Samuelsen wrote on Facebook.

According to estimates, there are only 200 Muslim women living in Denmark who wear full face coverings.

Laws banning full-face coverings in European countries have affected others in addition to Muslim women. In Austria, a man who dressed as a shark to advertise an electronics store was fined for wearing a shark mask which completely covered his face.