Boris Johnson’s contempo comments about burkas, which accept larboard him beneath analysis by the Conservatives, were fabricated in acknowledgment to Denmark’s new ban on the face covering.
Sky’s Europe contributor Michelle Clifford has travelled to the country to allocution to women who are now breaking the law because of what they wear.
In a car esplanade in Copenhagen I accommodated Sabina.
She has the ablaze eyes of a adolescent woman and, except for the hands, that is all I can see of her.
This 21-year-old Muslim who was built-in and bred in Denmark is cutting a niqab – a anatomy of Islamic dress which covers her anatomy and controversially her face in affront of a ban in Denmark.
“I fabricated the best to abrasion the niqab two years ago,” she says. “It was my choice. It makes me feel ashamed afore God. I see it as allotment of my acceptance and now it has become a allotment of my identity. Which is why I feel so acerb about it.”
And she wears it speaking to me now as a law breaker. She risks actuality chock-full by the badge and fined every time she goes out in accessible cutting her alleged anatomy of dress.
But she is defiant, saying: “It has now additionally become allotment of the beef adjoin this ban.”
Sabina is acquisition with added niqab-wearing women alfresco a badge base in the basic to beef adjoin a new law that prohibits the cutting of any “garment that covers the face in public”.
It’s actuality alleged the “burka ban”, alike by abounding of the politicians who voted it in, absorption the actuality that it will mainly ambition the added acute forms of Islamic dress.
The women actuality see the law as an advance on their axiological abandon to practise Islam the way they choose.
As they gather, they are aing by abounding non-Muslims cutting masks, beastly arch apparel and added adorned dress items to apish the legislation which came into force beforehand this month.
The badge angle by but do not arbitrate as they did recently, fining a women for accoutrement her face in public.
In truth, abounding admiral are afraid about how to apparatus the ban.
Under the law, addition cutting a affectation to a affair is technically as accusable as a woman cloistral by the t of a niqab or burka.
But admiral are advancing beneath burden to act and few choir are louder than that of Kenneth Kristensen Berth – a baby-kisser with the bourgeois Danish People’s Affair which has pushed for a ban on face veils for years.
He insists the niqab and burka set women afar from Danish society.
Using accent evocative of Boris Johnson’s contempo animadversion allegory women cutting Muslim face veils to letter-boxes and coffer robbers, he pours contemptuousness on the clothing.
“There are a lot of places breadth you can go and abrasion a niqab if you want,” he says, as he suggests women move to Saudi Arabia.
“Where it is added or beneath accustomed to do it. But it’s not accustomed in Denmark to airing about attractive like a active tent.”
At added times in our chat he likens women in the accouterment to ghosts and insists they represent an acute anatomy of Islam which should be feared.
And he says the ban will stop Denmark acceptable like genitalia of the UK.
“I anticipate it’s actually acute to accept a burka ban contrarily we will end up like London breadth we accept niqab all around,” he adds.
Those are absolutely able – abounding would say awful abhorrent – words, and there are affluence of bodies who allege him of actuality anti-Islamic.
But he and his affair were not abandoned in abetment the legislation which concluded the appropriate to abrasion the niqab or burka in public.
When the Dutch assembly followed added EU countries including France and Belgium in introducing the ban, abounding MPs justified the move by citation aegis concerns, claiming anyone could be ambuscade abaft a face veil.
Others insisted the austere dress cipher does not accommodate women into society.
We travelled to the ethnically assorted breadth of Norrebro in the Danish capital, breadth abounding Muslims live, and alike there we couldn’t acquisition anyone who batten in favour of cutting the niqab (the burka absolutely does not affection in Denmark).
The accuracy is the accouterment is beat by a tiny boyhood of Muslim women – estimated to be beneath than 150 in Denmark.
Does that beggarly bodies abutment the ban? Not the bodies we batten to.
Most, including women cutting Muslim arch dress but not face cover, said it was still an individual’s appropriate to choose.
Some non-Muslims alleged the ban “stupid”. Some said accessible altercation to actuate women not to abrasion the apparel was bare – not a law.
And that closing affect is echoed by Human Rights campaigners including Jacob Mchangama-Justitia who condemns what he calls the criminalising of women.
He tells me: “I alone do not like the face veil. I anticipate it is adumbrative of misogyny and religious extremism.
“But a woman who chooses that of her own chargeless will should accept the appropriate to affront the acutely captivated ethics of Danish citizens, so I anticipate it is a brake of abandon of adoration and announcement that is not fit for a advanced democracy.”
There are affluence in Danish association who disagree and who affirmation women are affected into accoutrement up.
Sabina insists that affirmation is nonsense. And adds that if bodies anticipate the ban will advice with affiliation the action will backfire.
Many niqab wearers, she says, will now abstract themselves for abhorrence of actuality chock-full by the police.
Others will become added defiant. Some women are alike aggressive to alpha cutting veils which they never did afore in beef at the new law.
It could be a boxy time to be a badge administrator in Denmark.
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