Ekstra Bladet finds loophole in ‘Burqa Ban’

Danish tabloid challenges the politicians with the world’s longest masquerade ball

The Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet has found a loophole in the upcoming law that will prohibit the use of face veils in public such as a burqa, niqab or any kind of mask.

The new law is set to come into effect on August 1, and in response, the newspaper have launched a campaign to protest against the law.

Loophole in law’s wording
The loophole in question deals with the wording of the law that gives exceptions to the ban on face veils in public. The law states: “Excluded from the ban is the covering of the face that serves a legitimate purpose”.

Ekstra Bladet has interpreted this to mean that events such as a masquerade ball would be a legitimate purpose to cover your face.

The tabloid has therefore decided to launch the world’s longest masquerade ball. Set to start on August 1 and go on until the ban is overturned, the Facebook event advises people to click ‘attending’, as it will then give them a legitimate reason to cover their face in public.

A message to the politicians
Poul Madsen, the executive editor-in-chief at Ekstra Bladet, said the campaign was created to send a message to the Danish political system.

“It was started to tell the public that this law is crazy. It’s something that was made up by politicians to show they are doing something,” Madsen told CPH POST.

“Politicians should be making laws about important things, but instead they are making ridiculous laws about people’s clothing,” he added.

Just a small penalty
Madsen is confident the Danish police won’t do anything about people covering their face as part of the campaign.

“I don’t think the police have the time. They wouldn’t be able to arrest everybody, and it would only be a penalty of 1,000 kroner,” he said.

Madsen rejected the notion that the campaign could be compared to the myth of Christian X wearing the Star of David in solidarity with the Jews during the Nazi occupation in World War II (in reality, he only suggested the measure).

“You can’t compare this to anything historical. The politicians want to show they are doing something about this ‘Islam problem’, and you don’t have anything from history to compare that to,” said Madsen.

Fuel for debate
The Facebook event has received a mixed reaction with some praising the tabloid’s efforts while others have been critical.

In response, one user said “EB, this event manifests your ridiculously low standards.” Another pleaded for the police to arrest anyone who they found participating.

But countless others showered the tabloids with plaudits and thanked Ekstra Bladet for its efforts.

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