Tuesday June 13, 2017
Norway's ruling coalition of right-wing anti-immigration parties plans to ban the full face veil in all educational institutions across the country saying it hinders communication.Local authorities already have the power to ban the veil in schools, however, there is no uniform national policy.
The authorities had promised the ban last year targeting the hijab, balaclavas, and masks.
"We do not want clothes covering the face in nurseries, schools and universities," Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said in a statement.
"These clothes prevent good communication, which is important for students to receive a good education," he added.
Norwegian authorities will consult over the coming months with those who could be affected by the draft law.
Norwegian media reported the government can count on the support of most parties and the bill is expected to pass in the spring of 2018.
So far the bill does not lay out consequences for disregarding the proposed law.
"Clothes covering the face, like the niqab and the burqa, have no place in Norwegian schools. It is a fundamental value to be able to communicate with each other," Per Sandberg, acting minister of immigration and integration, said.
Last month, Austrian members of parliament approved a new bill banning garments that fully cover the face of women - the latest restriction on the country's Muslim population.
The imposition of a ban by some countries comes on the heels of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in March that stated employers are entitled to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols - a decision Muslims said was a direct attack on women wearing the hijab at work. The hijab is a headscarf worn by many Muslim women who feel it is part of their religion.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed restrictions on wearing full-face veils in public places.