On Monday, the Norwegian government announced its intentions to ban all face-covering veils — both burqas and niqabs — in all educational institutions including kindergartens, schools, and universities across the country. The decision follows in the wake of several other European countries including France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Belgium, which have instituted similar bans on veils worn in public spaces.
“Face-covering garment such as the niqab or burqa do not belong in Norwegian schools. The ability to communicate is a basic value,” said Per Sandberg, the government’s acting Minister of Immigration and Integration. If the new legislation is accepted, Norway will be the first country to apply the veil ban to both children and adults. Employees and students who wear the veil despite such a ban would risk termination from their jobs and being expelled from school, Sandberg said.
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