Denmark bans burqa and Austria bans 7 mosques: Is it justified or is this another case of Islamophobia?

  16-Jun-2018 13:21:42

Denmark IslamophobiaBurqa ban

Countries all over Europe have grappled with the subject of the Islamic veil - in diverse styles like the full body-covering burka andthe niqab, which covers the face and head except for the eyes. The conflict includes freedom of religion, women's equality, secular traditions as well as panic over terrorism. The Islamic veil problem is part of a broader dispute regarding cultural diversity in Europe, as numerous politicians insist that there needs to be a larger Endeavour to integrate racial, cultural and religious minorities.

Denmark is the latest European nation to make a law prohibiting face veils, illegalizing the burqa and niqabdonned by several Muslim women. Parliament voted in may 2018 for the law, initiated by the centre-right government, by a vote of 75-30, with 74 abstentions. It takes effect in August 2018. If an individual violates this law they can be fined1,000 kroner (Rs. 10669), which will increase ten times if the individual is caught wearing it again.The law does permit headscarves, turbans and Yarmulkes to be worn. 10 years earlier, the government declared they would ban judges from wearing headscarves and identical religious or political symbols - as well as crucifixes, Yarmulkes and turbans - in courthouses. This measure was taken due to pressure from the Danish People's Party, who are recognized for being anti-Muslim, the party has now made a demand to expand the law to cover school teachers and medical staff. As reported by Reuters, researchers reckon that some 200 women inDenmarkwear theniqab, a full body covering veil that bares only the eyes, or the burqa, which covers the eyes too and has its beginnings in Afghanistan.

Amnesty International criticized the law as a “discriminatory violation of women’s rights,” mainly against Muslim women who choose to don the full face-covering veils. “Although some particular limitations on the wearing of full face-covering veils for the purposes of public safety might be valid, this blanket ban is neither required nor proportionate and violates the rights to freedom of expression and religion,” the organization’s Europe director Gauri van Gulik declared in an announcement following the vote. “If the purpose of this law was to safeguard women’s rights, it fails miserably. Rather, the law illegalizes women for their choice of clothing and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark pretends to preserve,” she stated further.

Denmark is the latest European country to hop on the train of Islamophobia. These sentiments and movement gained strength as refugees and immigrants flowed into Europe in recent years. France, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy have all established some limitations on the wearing of full face-covering veils in public places. France, on the other hand, with its population of 5 million Muslims, depicting approximately 5% of the total population, has been in the limelight of Europe's tilt towards secular extremism.

Another European country, Austria declared on Friday it would exile as far as 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families and will close down 7 mosques as part of a clampdown on "political Islam". This judgment was declared by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Mr. Kurz, whogoverns in an alliance with the far-right Freedom Party, which campaigned last year on a scheme to crush illegal immigration and Islamist extremism.1 of the mosquesthe government will shut down is suggested to beconnected to Turkish nationalists, and the remaining 6 mosques are led by an organization called the Arab Religious Community. At least 600000 Muslims reside in Austria, which is home to nearly 9000000 people. After taking office last year, Mr Kurz’s administration has started to inquire into Muslim organizations presumed to be disobeying the country’s 2015 Islam law. The law seeks to thwart any dispute between “thinking of oneself as a pious Muslim and proud Austrian citizen at the same time,” by controlling the activities of the Islamic community. Under the Islam law, Islamic organizations are prohibited from gaining the majority of their funding from sources outside of Austria. But numerous imams working in these organizations perform via the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation, recognized by the initials ATIB, and are civil servants of the Turkish government.

Turkey lambasted Austria for their plans, declaring the actions "anti-Islam" and "racist"."Austria's decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country," presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin stated on Twitter. TheAustrian government lately declared their intention to disallow students in elementary schools and kindergartens from sporting headscarves, also adding to the prevailing limitations on religious headwear. Protestors and specialists have condemned the nature of the law as unproductive and "Islamophobic". The bans have inflamed a discourse about cultural diversity across the continent. National newspapers alert people of “spiralling refugee costs”, Islamic “rapists” and imminentMuslim attacks, in answer to a record flood of immigrants and terrorist attacks over Europe. European countries, for instance, Denmark and others are now pursuing the track to secular extremism that has been set forth by France, indisputably a consequence of their individual domestic politics. From Brussels to Paris to Lombardy to Copenhagen, far-right politicians have taken advantage of the panic regarding Syrian refugees and terrorism, promoting the inaccurate idea that Islam is contradictory to European values, and therefore, Muslims are a danger to social unity.

Playing to these unreasonable worries and misgivings has caused populist far-right political beliefs to advance from the fringes to the mainstream.Even though Islamophobia is becoming popular at an alarming rate, there are some voices of reason amidst the top politicians and civil society. They correctly highlight that there is no such thing as a monolithic Islam.Additionally, Europe’s unification of immigrants is in fact way better than how critics depict it, with their notion of “parallel societies” and ominous slums. Of all the shadows plaguing Europe, none are as formidable or possibly hostile to democracy as Islamophobia. Whilst the economic catastrophe and budget cut across the continent have unquestionably exacerbated Islamophobic discussion, they are not primarily at fault for Islamophobia. Still, as this surge of far-right bigotry and populism becomes more intense, other ethnic and cultural minorities will become the next target and Europe will divorce itself from its global values.