Norway aims to ban face-covering Muslim veils in kindergartens, schools and universities, the government said on Monday, the latest European nation to propose restrictions on wearing burqas and niqabs.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed restrictions on wearing full-face veils in public places.
Norway’s minority government, a coalition of the centre-right Conservatives and the populist Progress Party, said it was confident it would find opposition support for the move.
“We have every reason to believe this will be approved by parliament,” Education Minister Torbjoern Roe Isaksen told Reuters.
Norway, which will hold elections on Sept 11, will be the first country in the Nordics to introduce a ban on burqas for both adults and children.
“Face-covering garment such as the niqab or burqa do not belong in Norwegian schools. The ability to communicate is a basic value,” acting Minister of Immigration and Integration, Per Sandberg, told a news conference.
Employees who insist on wearing a veil would risk losing their jobs, and students could face expulsion from university, he added.
British PM May fights for survival ahead of Brexit talks
British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting for survival on Saturday after a failed election gamble undermined her authority and plunged the country into a major political crisis, days before the start of talks to leave the European Union.
May’s bet that she could strengthen her hand by crushing what she believed to be a weak opposition Labour Party backfired spectacularly on Thursday as voters stripped her Conservative Party of a parliamentary majority.
The stunning outcome leaves May battling to unite different factions in her party and reliant on a handful of Northern Irish parliamentarians just nine days before Britain starts the tortuous process of negotiating its departure from the EU.
May’s two top aides, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, announced they had quit on Saturday, following sustained criticism of the campaign within the party.
Britain’s typically pro-Conservative press savaged May on Saturday and questioned whether she could remain in power, only two months after she started the clock ticking on the two-year EU divorce process.
The best-selling Sun newspaper said senior members of the party had vowed to get rid of May, but would wait at least six months because they feared a leadership contest could propel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into power.