Blog Post: Face Coverings

I've been following with fascination the face coverings ban in Denmark. They recently passed a law forbidding masks, those ski masks with the eye slits (I can't figure out how to spell the name, it looks like baklava to me...), fake beards, burkas and niqabs. The estimate is that the women who wear the latter two are only in the hundreds here in Denmark. The rational is that covering your face is anathema to Danish values and that it inhibiting the assimilation of people who wear them. What they don't come out and say is that religion is a very personal, private, thing in Denmark and wearing something that screams "this is my religion!!" is pretty anathema to Danish values. I personally don't really care, as someone who never fits in, I'd probably be inclined if I ever met someone in a niqab to try to make friends with her, because I would view her also as an outsider and want to make friends. On the other hand I don't object to it, because I think while head coverings are pretty universal, showing your face is also something that spans most cultures as base civility. Also, I can't help but notice that so far the women interviewed are young, children of immigrants and it's not clear if they chose to get Danish citizenship. I may be reading too much into it, but they seem like potentially the maladjusted group the country is freaking out about, those who were born in Denmark, but seem to reject Danish culture. At any rate, what fascinates me and I love about how this unfolding is that there were protests, with women wearing these illegal face coverings. The protests were peaceful, none of the women were fined and there's even a viral photo of a police officer hugging a women wearing the illegal face garment, because she looked like she was going to cry. Furthermore, as of Monday, the country handed out it's first ticket. Why? Because some entitled person at a mall got into an altercation with the niqab wearer over her illegal clothing. The woman was asked to remove her veil or go home and issued a fine. The important part is that the other woman was ALSO charged with disturbing the peace and the police are going over the security camera footage to ascertain if she actually had ripped the veil off of the Muslim lady. If she had, presumably she is going to face further penalties. I don't know if passing this law was the right form of action to take, but I do know that it's being handled in a compassionate and respectful manner.