The news went around the world last week when a 29-year-old woman became the first person to be charged and fined in Denmark two days after the contentious ‘Burqa Law’ came into effect last Wednesday.
However, it looks as if the woman, who was stopped by police after wearing a niqab in Hørsholm, won’t need to worry about the 1,000 kroner fine after all. The wealthy French-Algerian businessman Rachid Nekkaz has announced he will pay all ‘burqa fines’ accrued in Denmark.
“I will be in Copenhagen on September 11 to pay all the fines, and I will do this every month because even though I am against the niqab, I will always defend freedom across the world: the freedom to wear a niqab as well as the freedom to not wear a hijab,” Nekkaz told Berlingske newspaper.
Fighting for choice
Nekkaz, 46, has already been helping to pay fines for similar offences for a number of years in countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France and Germany. Earlier this year, he said he had paid 1,538 fines so far.
“I don’t have any limit on how many fines I will pay. There are no limits on freedom,” he said.
In Denmark, transgressors of the ‘Burqa Law’ initially face a fine of 1,000 kroner, but repeat offenders could end up being fined 10,000 kroner.