Burka ban proposal splits Danish government

The governing party has rejected a proposal from its coalition partner, the Conservative Party, to ban people from covering their face with clothing such as burkas and niqabs.

“We do not want to see burkas in Denmark,” said Naser Khader, the integration spokesman for the Conservatives. Khader, who immigrated to Denmark from Syria and who helped established the Modern Muslims group, said the burka symbolised the Taleban and oppression of women. It had nothing do to with Islam. “The modern burka was instituted by the Taleban when it came to power. I see it as a symbol of the Taleban,” he said. Khader said the burka was “un-Danish” and should be completely banned in this country.

The Conservatives’ proposal received the support of the Danish People’s Party, a key government ally, and the opposition Social Democrats. But the party’s government ally, the prime minister’s Liberal Party, said legislating against certain types of clothing was a step too far.

Islamic Faith Society spokesman Imran Shah said the ban was unnecessary as only three or four women in Denmark wore the burka, while 30-40 women wore the niqab.

Copenhagen Post, 17 August 2009