With Bill 62, Quebec is the first place in North America to effectively ban face veils in public.Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has defended the bill, saying it’s necessary for “communication, identification and safety” reasons.
Let us take a look at face covering ban worldwide.
- France: France introduced a law banning face coverings that conceal peoples’ identities in public in 2010.The European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in 2014. It ruled it was proportional because its aim was to preserve the idea of “living together.”France was the first country in Europe to ban Islamic face veils, such as the burka and the niqab, in public places.
- Austria: Austria banned face veils in public places earlier this month.
The ban, which came into effect on Oct. 1, forbids any kind of face covering in public, including on public buses, metros and trains.Austria’s Foreign Ministry says the law “is aimed at ensuring social cohesion and social peace in Austria,” but critics say it unfairly targets Muslim women who wear a niqab or burka.
Last month, a man in a shark costume was fined 150 euros in Vienna because his face was covered in public.
- Turkey: For decades, Turkey maintained a ban on women wearing headscarves in state institutions, including universities and government offices.
- Germany: In September, the German parliament passed a law banning drivers from wearing anything that partially or fully covers their faces.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “Full veiling is not appropriate here — it should be banned wherever that is legally possible.”
- Belgium: Belgium passed a law barring people from wearing anything that fully or partially covers their faces in places accessible to the public in 2011.
- Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s parliament banned the burka in September 2016 in a bid to boost security in the wake of Islamist militant attacks in Europe.
- Egypt: The Egyptian government has drafted a bill to ban the niqab and burka in public places and government institutions.
- Switzerland: The ban came into force in 2016. Muslim women who wear the veil in shops, restaurants or public buildings can be fined up to €9,200 (£7,890).
- Italy: Lombardy, the wealthiest region in Italy, approved a ban on women wearing the burka in hospitals and local government buildings in December 2015.
- Chad (In Central Africa) : Chad banned women from wearing the full-face veil following two suicide bomb attacks in June 2015.
There are similar bans in parts of Cameroon and Niger as well as Congo-Brazzaville and the Gabon.