It has been under discussion for some time, and today parliament is debating a proposal by Dansk Folkeparti (DF) to ban the wearing of burkas and similar garments in Denmark.
Mette Frederiksen, the justice minister, told BT today she believes burkas are of a bygone era and have no place in Denmark, but she doesn’t believe that they should be legislated against.
“My fundamental position with burkas and other garments that cover the face and hands is that they are completely awful,” she told the paper.
“They are oppressive to women. They in no way belong in Denmark or in other societies. They belong to a bygone time – and by that I mean a hundred years ago.”
Ban would be out of proportion
A report from 2010 found that fewer than 200 women in Denmark cover their face. Frederiksen therefore believes that outlawing the apparel would be cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. “In my opinion it’s completely out of proportion to start legislating on it,” she said.
“After all, it’s a very little problem and the use of burkas is not particularly widespread in Denmark. Therefore I’d rather be part of the strong voices in the debate and send a powerful signal to drop the burka. It doesn’t belong in Denmark.”