world

First woman fined in Denmark for wearing full-face veil

30 Comments
By Mads Claus Rasmussen

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
Login to comment

This issue is a conundrum for the left because it, among other things, puts women ‘s rights against traditional Muslim culture. Which one is more virtuous?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

These Muslim women should be happy to be living in a place where the society does not subjugate women by having them hide their faces.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

the woman had become involved in a scuffle with another woman who had tried to tear her niqab off, 

I hope than Danish police arrested the do-gooder who tried to forcibly remove the niqab as that consists physical assault.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I'm torn.

Freedom of expression is deemed the same as freedom of speech in my country and it is a very high law. Clothing is a form of expression.

Freedom of/from religion is also a very high law.

But in many cultures, hiding one's face is considered "sneaky" or rude or as away to prevent prosecution for illegal deeds about to be performed. The KKK wore hoods for this reason.

In my state, it is illegal to wear a mask if that mask causes someone else to be afraid. There is a religious exception.

How do we, as a people, resolve these issues? Normally, I'd go with the higher laws as the way to go, but people do things that make other people uncomfortable all the time. If they don't harm anyone or cause damage beyond the fear, it seems like a small price to pay for someone else to have both freedom of religion and speech.

And now women in Denmark will need to wear makeup when leaving the home, I suppose.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

And if you are a former UN worker from a place where burkas have been used to hide body-bombs, I could see shaking from fear without control if they had to be near anyone dressed that way.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Funny how the women who are supposedly declaring their subjugation by wearing the veil seem quite willing to show they aren't willing to be subjugated by fighting politicians, defying oppressive laws, and demanding the right to choose what to wear.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The burqa is NOT a choice, it is the worst kind of denial of a woman's humanity, her existence as an individual.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Proposed solution.

How about an agreement with the Muslim countries of origin that we will accept immigration of thier people to our countries as long as those going from us to them are allowed to practice thier religion freely. Religious freedom has to work both ways.

I suspect that this type of agreement will not be acceptable to many Muslim countries where only Islamic religious expression is allowed. Makes me wonder why migrants from those countries insist on freedom to practice thier religion here but our religious people cannot practice thier religion there.

Anyway, I think this is a fair proposal.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am for religious freedom until it infringes on individual freedoms that affect society. I cringe when I see burqas in person. Are they brainwashed into having to wear such garb? I wonder, shouldn't the husband and/or mosque who make the women wear the burqas should be fined instead? Hard to prove who ordered the deed, tho. I am wondering if this will imprison women in their own homes instead. And at the same time, how is this different than nuns being required to go out in pretty much the same wear, minus the face wear? Of course it is different in that not all Catholic women must wear such garb. Difficult issue.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't personally know any burka-wearing women, but I do know a handful of hijab-wearing women.

To them it is an outward sign of their faith, like a Christian might wear a necklace or earrings with a cross and lets them not fuss too much with their hair. They see it as freeing.

I wear hats sometimes so I don't have to fuss with my hair too. It is freeing for both sexes.

Of course, there are probably women who are forced to wear a hijab or burka or niqab against their will through peer pressure and/or males commanding it. I won't claim to know what every person wearing any clothes wants from those clothes, but I can see multiple reasons which aren't necessarily forced onto women.

Cultural differences can cause friction. It has always been that way. Islam is the 2nd most popular religion on Denmark, but only 28% of Danes believe there is at least one God. As someone else pointed out, article 70 of the Danish Constitution - wikipedia says:

§70 grants freedom of religion by ensuring civil and political rights can not be revoked due to race or religious beliefs. It further states race and religious beliefs can not be used to be exempt from civil duties.

Is shopping a civil right, a civil duty or something else?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Such a many levelled issue. On the one hand, is it right to dictate what women wear? I don't see anyone getting upset over nums habits etc. Or Sephardic or Haredi full dress.

On the other hand it's freedom of expression versus the patriarchy of some cultures within Islam.

I have friends who don't wear any of the religious garb and some that do. Some of them drink and (gasp) even eat pork. Others don't.

I don't know anyone who wears the full gear. Some friends are tolerant of the full dress others aren't. It's really none of my business.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I can't pretend I particularly like seeing women wearing niqab or burqa, but I certainly don't feel threatened or offended by it. I've seen interviews with covered women who insist that wearing burqa is their choice, not forced on them by husbands or families, and is an integral part of their religious and cultural belief such that they would feel uncomfortable leaving home without it. Given what (some of) the women themselves say, I don't think we can just assume that wearing burqa/niqab is just a manifestation of these women's subjugation by their religion and/or their men. Whereas banning it, I would have thought, certainly constitutes religious discrimination.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Great post BigYen, agree 100%.

Wonder what will happen in the middle of winter when many/most Danes/euros wrap a woolen scarf around their nose and mouth and wear a beanie.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hijab is not a problem in my opinion. Niqab on the other hand is a total problem for the ultimate reason that one can not be identified at all due to religious beliefs... which is not a perfect excuse in my book. Many Islamic countries are getting rid of niqabs for the exact reason that a woman can not be identified at all in any situation.

Niqabs have no place in western societies due to constant safety and effective identification concerns.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

theFuToday 07:33 am JSTI'm torn.

Freedom of expression is deemed the same as freedom of speech in my country and it is a very high law. Clothing is a form of expression.

Freedom of/from religion is also a very high law.

The Amish in America have their standards concerning clothes and facial hair (for men). Mormons wear 'temple garments' (their version of FRUIT OF THE LOOMS - I've seen them) in stores. Parochial schools often have uniforms (and sadly that robs kids of self identity) yet nobody in America says a word about any of these things. If the person really wants to wear the getup then let them wear it. Do not force it on anyone - on either side of the equation.

There's so many crap stories in US papers about Muslims it totally makes me sick. All they want to do is stir up ignorance, hatred and yes, violence.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Easy for one culture to say that the habits of another culture are "wrong" and "forced". Just like when Europeans took Native Indian kids away from their families and tribes and made them study Christianity and wear Western clothes all in the name of "protecting" them from the backwards ways of their own cultures.

Who are we to say what cultural clothing is "wrong".

Let each culture follow its own traditions.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It’s worth pointing out that this garment is banned in some Muslim-majority countries and in some cases security reasons were cited.

I’ve never heard a convincing reason why it is only women who are required to or choose to cover up in the name of ‘modesty’ in this religion. Many scholars point out that it isn’t a requirement according to the scriptures.

I don’t think this garment really belongs in a country with a fine reputation for equal rights and secular values.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've met Muslim women in college who don't wear this getup. People in America are always making up stupid rumors about 'outsiders'. 'Land of the free' my fanny.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The full face veil is a cultural, not a religious, requirement. Many Muslim women choose not to wear a niqab or a hijab but are often ostracised.

I don't think there should be laws telling women what they can and can't wear, but this not a religious issue.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Who are we to say what cultural clothing is "wrong".

I largely agree. I am completely neutral on the morality surrounding this issue. If you genuinely believe that your sister or daughter will spend an eternity in hell if she doesn't wear a full face veil, why wouldn't you force her to wear it? To be honest, you'd actually have to be pretty evil not to.

That said, this is ultimately a very simple issue of respecting democracy. The people of Denmark have implemented this law and whatever idiosyncratic reasons persuaded them to adopt it are entirely irrelevant. All morality is subjective so it's pointless to discuss what the law should or should not be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I was at school, I had quite a few Muslim friends as well as friends from all sorts of other backgrounds. We never discussed religion, we all loved Xmas, and the Muslim girls never covered themselves, not even with scarves. Hell, the Muslim girl sitting next to me was always preoccupied with her hairstyle and fingernails. My, have times changed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's not a religious issue, it's a security issue hiding one's face in public places.

Even in Japan you are flagged as a potential robber if you enter a convenience store wearing a full face helmet.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When I was at school, I had quite a few Muslim friends as well as friends from all sorts of other backgrounds. We never discussed religion, we all loved Xmas, and the Muslim girls never covered themselves, not even with scarves. Hell, the Muslim girl sitting next to me was always preoccupied with her hairstyle and fingernails. My, have times changed.

Mate, same here. Was occasionally invited to their apartment, mums didn't even wear any headgear etc. When did it all go wrong, the mid/late 90s, later? (And by 'go wrong' i mean when/why did many feel the need to cover up & when/why did we feel the need to criticize them for doing so?). We screwed up, all of us Muslims & non-Muslims.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This issue is a conundrum for the left because it, among other things, puts women ‘s rights against traditional Muslim culture.

It is indeed a conundrum, but not just for the left (and you should know better - isn't the right the side of libertarianism?).

Imagine being a westerner in a culture that prohibits wearing all you've been used to wearing since you were born - sneakers, jeans, Reyn Spooners - and then add a religious element, and this is what we have.

It's not like the fashion will rub off on others; it's not even likely that their offspring will take it up (being from Los Angeles, I have experience with cultural assimilation). The law is cruel and dumb. Leave them be to dress as they like.

That's just my "leftist" view.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why are people even bothering to compare burkas and niqabs to other religious or cultural attire? Hiding your face is culturally unacceptable in most of the world and poses a security risk. Go ahead and walk into a bank with your face hidden and see what happens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like any authoritarian ideology such as Communism and Socialism, Islam seeks to use Western democracy against itself. They push norms to the limit and force reactions that they then use to undermine it. The burqa is just the most publicized method of this tactic. Europe has already allowed a critical mass of culturally intolerant Muslims into the Continent. As the Muslim population swells through high birth rates Western values will be squeezed and there will be ever increasing tension and conflict.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Everyone has to obey the rule and law of the Country where they choose to live. The Muslims should be immigrated to the Muslim Islamic Countries instead of Christian and Westernized Countries. The Muslims are immigrating to spread their Islam religion and to convert local peoples by married with local women. If you look at any country which the Muslims immigrated and then you can see the truth. The Muslims always said one day, the Islam is only religion for the peoples and the world. If they cannot accept the rule and law of the Country which they migrated and then they should be deported or migrated to another Muslim country. You cannot accuse racist to the Government or any person who makes the law. They should obey the law instead of disobeyed the law.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pukey2Aug. 4 12:08 pm JSTWhen I was at school, I had quite a few Muslim friends as well as friends from all sorts of other backgrounds. We never discussed religion, we all loved Xmas, and the Muslim girls never covered themselves, not even with scarves. Hell, the Muslim girl sitting next to me was always preoccupied with her hairstyle and fingernails. My, have times changed.

Muslims honor Christmas because Jesus is a prophet in Islam.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Muslims honor Christmas because Jesus is a prophet in Islam.

Not exactly. There was some debate in the UK among Muslims in the UK on whether they should return the ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting or whether it was offensive for Christians or non-Christians to say it in the first place.

The reformist Muslim Maajid Nawaz was on the side of returning the greeting as a sign of tolerance and to dispel the idea that Muslims don’t want to integrate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JimizoAug. 6 12:40 pm JSTMuslims honor Christmas because Jesus is a prophet in Islam.

Not exactly. There was some debate in the UK among Muslims in the UK on whether they should return the ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting or whether it was offensive for Christians or non-Christians to say it in the first place.

The reformist Muslim Maajid Nawaz was on the side of returning the greeting as a sign of tolerance and to dispel the idea that Muslims don’t want to integrate.

The same scenario stinks up America. Televangelists like Pat Robertson create this hysteria about a 'War on Christmas' every year and members of non-evangelic churches like Catholic and Lutherans believe that crap too. It's disgusting. Pat Robertson himself sheepishly admitted that he made that rumor up. It sows discord. Usually the rumor is that store employees MUST say 'Happy Holidays' instead now. The rumors get taller too. They say that public schools can't have ANY holiday parties, not even birthdays because 'it offends the religious sensibilities of (drumroll, please. CLASH!) MUSLIMS!!! It's almost always Muslims getting the rap for a situation that really isn't there. This lie perpetrates anti-Islam sentiment in America. They say that Muslims are pushing their agenda on American society and that's a load of xenophobic BS. And as for this 'War on Christmas', sometimes the media and the loudmouth phony Christians howl that the Jews are to blame for it too. Oh yes, 'Jews reject Jesus, Jews HATE Jesus, Jews are greedy, aligned with Freemasons, blah blah blah'. Adolf Hitler said that sort of thing too. 6 million Jews were exterminated because of his lies.

It doesn't bother me if someone says 'Happy Holidays' to me or gives me a non-Christian greeting, I return the same. After all, not everyone in the US is a Christian or even pretends to be one. December also has Chanukah, Kwanzaa (a secular Black American celebration) and sometimes Ramadan or Eid al-Fitr. Don't forget New Years.

I've been in the military and college and there's diversity around. There's no room or time for all this persecution/victimization nonsense because it sows hate, intolerance and ultimately violence. And the rumormongers like Pat Robertson and friends sit back and laugh because they are not the Christians they claim to be. Their attitudes and lives don't show it. They pollute the airwaves with their flatulence of monocular exclusiveness, intolerance and paranoia. Oh and send us your money.

Most Muslims I've ever met are alright and they respect 'People of the Book' - Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Baha'is, religions descended from Abrahamic texts. They just want to be able to practice their faith and be left alone. They're fleeing oppressive dictators, wars and persecution (ISIS has been murdering moderate Muslims as well as anybody not like them).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites