Vienna, 10 Jumadil Awwal 1438/8 February 2017 (MINA) – Thousands of Muslim women marched in Vienna recently against controversial government plans to ban full-face veils in public.
An estimated 3,000 took part in the rally calling for the law change to be abandoned, accusing the government of Islamophobia, IINA News reported.
Placards declared that wearing a veil is a personal choice, and protesters claimed that the measure is both sexist and anti-Muslim, The Marshalltown magazine reported.
Last week Austria’s ruling coalition said the niqab and burka ban would come into effect over the next 18 months. It has widely been seen as an effort to counter the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) ahead of parliamentary elections next year.
At the protest, which passed peacefully, women marched under the slogan ‘My body, My right of self-determination!’
They accused the Austrian government of attacking their freedoms, and RT reports that chants included: ‘Hey, minister! Hands off my sister!’
The ‘integration law’ put forward will see full face veils banned in public places, as well as compulsory German language and ‘value’ courses for refugees and migrants.
Police officers and court officials are also prohibited from wearing headscarves in order to appear ‘ideologically and religiously neutral,’ the coalition agreement states.
The document said: ‘Those who are not prepared to accept enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society.’
France passed a similar ban more than six years ago, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the prohibition of the full-face veil.(T/R04/P02)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)