Danish Muslims defy face veil ban
Under the new Danish law banning facial veils, police are able to instruct women to unveil or order them to leave public areas. Fines range from 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation. By Andrew Kelly
When a ban on the wearing of face veils in public took effect in Denmark at 1 August, Sabina (pictured left) did not leave her niqab at home. Instead, she joined around 1,300 Muslims and non-Muslims alike in a march through the capital Copenhagen to protest at what they saw as an infringement on freedom of religion and expression
The Danish parliament enacted the face veil ban in May, joining France and some other European countries to uphold what some politicians say are secular and democratic values. The protesting niqab wearers were joined by non-niqab wearing Muslim women and also non-Muslim Danes in face cover
Anna-Bella, 26, a home care worker and Amina, 24, a student, both members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue) and wearers of the niqab, walk along Stroget, the main shopping strip in Copenhagen, Denmark
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab, wipes tears from her eyes on the first day of the implementation of the Danish face veil ban on 1 August 2018
Meryem, 20, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), walks across a log at Dyrehaven, a deer petting park, in Aarhus
"It’s just absurd. I can’t do the things I love to do any more. I can’t go to the museum and the beach, can’t go out and take photos. I’m just going to be a prisoner in my home. But I prefer to be a prisoner in my home to taking off my niqab," says Ayah, 37
Swimmers look on as Anna-Bella, 26, who was born in Peru and converted to Islam at age 20, walks along the seafront in Copenhagen, Denmark
Just before heading to the August 1 demonstration, Ayah, 37, commented: “This is not the Denmark that we know. I can't go out when I want to...I have kids, how do I pick them up from the bus and the school and the train?
"Everybody wants to define what Danish values are," said Meryem, 20, who was born in Denmark to Turkish parents and has been wearing the niqab since before meeting her husband, who supports her right to wear it, but feels life could be easier without
"When I was little, people didn’t talk about colour and religion but now the last 10 years people are going crazy talking about colour of the skin and hating each other"
Amina, 24, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), using a camera in Copenhagen
"I believe that you have to integrate yourself in society, that you should get an education and so forth. But I don't think wearing a niqab means you can't engage with Danish values," said Meryem, who has a place to study molecular medicine at Aarhus University
Alaa, 21, a student of health and nutrition, born in Copenhagen and wearer of the niqab, tests a face veil she created with members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue) during a workshop in preparation for the August 1 protest against the face veil ban