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Dress code

Austria bans women from wearing face-covering veils in public spaces

May 18, 2017

Austria approved legislation this week banning the full facial veil in public places, prompting criticism from Austria’s Muslim community and activists. The law takes effect in October and under it women wearing clothing covering their faces (burqas or niqabs) in public places will face a fine of 150 euros ($167). The legislation also includes German-language lessons, mandatory integration courses and requires unpaid work from asylum seekers waiting to hear back about their claims, and is aimed at better integrating immigrants, according to Muna Duzdar, a state secretary in the office of Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern. Sevgi Kircil, a member of Austria’s Muslim community, called the new restrictions a reckless “intervention in religious freedom and the freedom of expression,” while the Austrian Bar Board said it breached democratic values and “the fundamental rights of the freedom of conscience and the freedom of private life.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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