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Attack on niqabi woman after the niqab ban in Denmark

28th Dec 2018

Aqila Mumthaz

A niqab-wearing Muslim woman in Denmark was attacked and bullied by shoppers for wearing the niqab at a supermarket while shopping.

In the video she filmed, a man aggressively asks her to “take that shit off” and that she is ugly with a niqab. As the man then approaches her she immediately tells him not to come any closer as she feels threatened by him. He then attacks her shopping cart and tells her that she doesn’t belong and should go back to where she lives. The clip of the attack then ends with her reply saying she’s from Copenhagen.

After the attack, the woman takes refuge in her vehicle and tearfully explains to viewers that only one man defended her and when the Kvickly supermarket employee asked her to leave (after the attack), others at the store turned against her. Feeling threatened she left her groceries and ran out of the store.

She continued telling viewers that she doesn’t understand why she can’t just do her shopping without being attacked for her religious beliefs.
Muslims make up around 5 per cent of Denmark’s population of 5.7 million. Approximately 150 to 200 Muslim women in the country are said to wear the niqab.

Denmark implemented a ban on the wearing of the niqab in public on August 1. The law also prohibits accessories that hide the face such as balaclavas, masks and false beards. Under this law, the police are able to order a woman to remove their veil or leave public areas. The women will also face fines of 1,000 kr (£120) for a first offence, rising to 10,000 crowns for a fourth.

Activists took to the streets of Aarhus when the ban was announced in protest of the ban, saying it unfairly targeted Muslims and represented an encouragement of anti-immigrant sentiments.

Fotis Filippou, Deputy Europe Director of Amnesty International, said, “If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights, it fails abjectly. Instead, the law criminalizes women for their choice of clothing – making a mockery of the freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.”

Supporters of the ban argued that the ban enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society. However, the ban in effect has had an increased correlation to the number of innocent niqabi women being victims of hate crimes.

Discriminated, bullied, threatened and afraid these women have no one to turn to, as the woman on the video says, “This ban has given people a green light to do these kinds of things… they know that the Government has given them the green light to treat niqab-wearing women like this.”

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