DF wants to ban religious headwear in the public sector

Proposal expected to attract little support in Parliament this week

Danish right wing party Dansk Folkeparti (DF) has voiced its desire to ban all forms of religious headwear in the public sector.

The proposal calls for a ban on everything from niqabs, turbans and yamakas and for the dismissal of any state, regional and municipal worker not abiding by the ban during working hours.

“To avoid any kind of discussion that the proposal is against conventions on religious freedoms, we have decided to word it to include all forms of religious headwear,” Martin Henriksen, DF’s spokesperson on immigration issues, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

“Then we are sure that it is judicially sound.”

READ MORE: Dansk Folkeparti wants a burka ban – for the fourth time in 12 years

Little support
Despite encompassing the entire religious spectrum of headwear, Henriksen was quick to admit that the party was using the law proposal to specifically target Muslim headwear and notable Islamic symbols in the public sphere.

DF hoped that including all religious headwear in its ban would soften up previously staunch opposition to similar proposals.

However, the prospective ban, which DF wants to propose in Parliament this week, has found little support elsewhere, with both Venstre and Socialdemokratiet opposing the proposal.

“We do believe that it would be better with fewer religious symbols in the public sector – including headscarves. And that goes for state employees,” Dan Jørgensen, Socialdemokratiet’s immigration spokesperson, told Jyllands-Posten.

“But we don’t believe anything needs to be legislated. That would be too great an inroad into the individual’s freedom.”