Immigrants and Danish citizens alike have been protesting the country’s ban against Muslim face veils.
Martin Henriksen of the Danish People’s Party, a far-right populist faction, proposed the law because he thinks it will help Denmark combat what he calls “political Islam.”
He believes that it is essential to Danish society and values to see the face of the person you’re speaking to.
“Well, we want to take a stand against political Islam. And we want to do this by banning the headscarf…we think it’s a core value in the Danish society, and also in other Western societies, that you’re able to see the person that you are talking to.” — Henriksen
The ban does not explicitly mention Muslim women but rather disguises its intent by banning face coverings in general in all public spaces.
In response to the ban, which went into effect this month, Muslim women are now wearing their burqas and niqabs in an act of civil disobedience instead of simply for personal, religious reasons.
And they are joined by hundreds of mask-wearing Danes who have joined the protests in solidarity.
“It’s not just about us fighting for the right to wear our niqab. It’s also about us fighting for right to live our lives as practicing Muslims in Denmark. We are saying to the government: we do not accept this form of racist, Islamophobic and oppressive politics.” — Sabina to TIME Magazine
Incredibly, an Algerian businessman by the name of Rasheed Nekkaz has said that he will pay any and all fines incurred by women in Denmark who choose to wear their burqa or niqab in spite of the ban.
Nekkaz has paid 1,538 similar fines for women living in predominantly white countries like France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.