Latvian ministry plans proposal to ban niqab despite paucity of affected individuals
- The Ministry of Justice is crafting legislation to ban the niqab, though only a handful of women among the country’s estimated 1,000 practicing Muslims wear the full-body veil.
- The proposed legislation is a part of Latvia’s widespread anti-immigration reaction to the surge of migration to Europe, framed as a preventative measure as the country prepares to take in 776 refugees over two years (of whom only six have arrived).
- The legislation does not criminalize the wearing of hijab, but Latvian Muslims have reported public discrimination and vocal prejudice despite the absence of explicitly discriminatory laws.
“Latvia Wants to Ban Face Veils, for All 3 Women Who Wear Them” (The New York Times)
“Latvia mulls face veil ban – but only 3 women wear them” (Al Arabiya)
“Latvia wants to become the third country in Europe to ban the face veil” (Al Bawaba)
(Image Credit: Reinis Hofmanis/The New York Times)