Some Danish Muslims plan to defy face veil ban

37 PHOTOS
Women plan to protest Danish face veil ban
See Gallery
Women plan to protest Danish face veil ban
Natacha, 21, a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), plays with her one-year-old son Taimullah in a playground in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Meryem (2nd R), 20, sits with classmates (L-R) Ahmad, Kasper and Caroline during a supplemental summer class on math B-A level in Aarhus, Denmark, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Amina, 24, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), uses a camera in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Mona, 55, tests a mask at a workshop in preparation for a protest against the face veil ban at The Islamic Trossamund in Denmark mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Members of the activist group Party Rebels, paste up posters alerting people to an organised protest against the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
An attendee prepares a face veil during a meeting at Folkets Hus, which translates to People's House, to prepare for a protest ahead of the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Natacha (L), 21, and Nayab, 18, both members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), stand together on a playground in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Swimmers watch on as Anna-Bella, 26, who was born in Peru and converted to Islam at age 20, walks along the seafront in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah, 37, crosses the Dronning Louise's bridge in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Khimars belonging to Ayah, 37, hang in her apartment in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab, speaks with swimmers during a visit to Karlstrup Kalkgrav, a lake near Karlstrup located outside Copenhagen, Denmark, July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Sarah, 30, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), poses for a portrait in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 24, 2018. Sarah stands at the spot, where she says, a man screamed anti-Islamic obscenities at her while almost forcing her onto the train tracks while she cradled her then two-week-old baby. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab, prepares to leave her apartment in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the the niqab, peers through a window as she walks through the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab, takes a selfie with a sign advertising an exhibition outside the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Alaa, 21, a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), adjusts her niqab in a mirror in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Sabina, 21, a wearer of the niqab and a founding member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), pauses after praying in a park by the seafront in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Alaa (L), 21, and Sabina, 21, prepare leaflets for a protest ahead of the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah (L), 37, and Aisha, 18, wearers of the niqab and members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), sit in a shopping center near Copenhagen, Denmark, July 19, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), shops in her local supermarket in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Natacha (C), 21, a wearer of the hijab and a Danish convert to Islam, holds her son Taimullah, 1, with her friends Nayab (L), 18, and Amina, 24, as they ride an elevator in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Ayah (R), 37, a wearer of the niqab, checks her cellphone as she prepares a meal with her friend Ahlam, 25, in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Meryem, 20, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), walks across a log at Dyrehaven, a deer petting park, in Aarhus, Denmark, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Aisha (L), 18, Sabina (C), 21, and Alaa, 21, all members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue) gather at Sabina's parents' apartment to prepare for a protest against the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Sabina (L), 21, and Ayah, 37, both wearers of the niqab and members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), prepare to drive in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Alaa, 21, a student of health and nutrition, born in Copenhagen and wearer of the niqab, tests a face veil she created with members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue) during a workshop in preparation for a protest against the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Mizgan, 24, advises attendees on how to prepare a face veil at Folkets Hus, which translates to People's House, during a workshop to prepare for a protest against the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Alaa, 21, a student of health and nutrition, born in Copenhagen and wearer of the niqab, tests a face veil she created with members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue) during a workshop in preparation for a protest against the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Alaa (L), 21, and Aisha, 18, prepare posters for a protest against the face veil ban at a workshop at The Islamic Trossamund in Denmark mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Meryem, 20, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), sits with her husband Ali, 23, as she updates her blog Niqabi Nuancer over a vegan breakfast in Aarhus, Denmark, July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Florina, 23, and Mizgan (R), 24, arrive for a meeting at Folkets Hus, which translates as People's House, for a workshop to prepare for a protest against the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Mizgan, 24, arranges posters made at a workshop in preparation for a protest against the face veil ban at The Islamic Trossamund in Denmark mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Anna-Bella (L), 26, a home care worker and Amina, 24, a student, both members of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue) and wearers of the niqab, walk along Stroget, the main shopping strip in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Meryem, 20, a wearer of the niqab and a member of the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue), sits amongst deer at Dyrehaven, a deer petting park, in Aarhus, Denmark, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Mathias Vidas Olsen, 29, a viking-age replica jewellery maker under the label Ravnsgard Smykker, demonstrates the preparation of bracelets he designed with a phrase that translates to "I will go with the burqa, will you?" in Copenhagen, Denmark., July 25, 2018. Olsen created the bracelets to raise money for the group Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue). REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Ayah (R), 37, a wearer of the niqab, lays with her daughter at her friend's apartment ahead of the face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
Sabina (L), 21, and Alaa, both students and wearers of the niqab, sit in a park in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

 COPENHAGEN, July 30 (Reuters) - On Aug. 1, when face veils are banned in Denmark, Sabina will not be leaving her niqab at home. Instead, she will be defying the law and taking to the street in protest.

In May, the Danish parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public, joining France and some other European countries to uphold what some politicians say are secular and democratic values.

But Sabina, 21, who is studying to be a teacher, has joined forces with other Muslim women who wear the veil to form Kvinder I Dialog (Women In Dialogue) to protest and raise awareness about why women should be allowed to express their identity in that way

"I won't take my niqab off. If I must take it off I want to do it because it is a reflection of my own choice," she said.

Like the other women interviewed for this article, Sabina did not wish to have her surname published for fear of harassment.

The niqab wearers who plan to protest on Aug. 1 will be joined by non-niqab wearing Muslim women and also non-Muslim Danes, most of whom plan to wear face coverings at the rally.

"Everybody wants to define what Danish values are," said Meryem, 20, who was born in Denmark to Turkish parents and has been wearing the niqab since before meeting her husband, who supports her right to wear it but feels life could be easier without.

"I believe that you have to integrate yourself in society, that you should get an education and so forth. But I don't think wearing a niqab means you can't engage yourself in Danish values," Meryem, who has a place to study molecular medicine at Aarhus University, said.

Like Sabina, Meryem plans to defy the law, keep her niqab on and protest against the ban.

Under the law, police will be able to instruct women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas. Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen said officers would fine them and tell them to go home.

Fines will range from 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offense to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation.

"I feel this law legitimizes acts of hatred but, on the other hand, I feel people have become more aware of what is going on. I get more smiles on the street and people are asking me more questions," said Ayah, 37.

Mathias Vidas Olsen, who makes reproductions of Viking age jewelry, is supporting the campaign by making special bracelets and giving the proceeds to Kvinder I Dialog.

"I'm not for or against the niqab," the 29-year-old Copenhagen man said.

"I'm for the right of the people to wear whatever they want whether they be a Muslim or a punk.

"I see this as the government reaching into places they don't belong and as a cheap hit on an already stigmatized group to score cheap political points."

For a photo essay, click on https://reut.rs/2v1ZkR1 (Reporting by Emil Gjerding Nielson; additional reporting by Jacob Grønholt-Pedersen and Stine Jacobsen; editing by Stine Jacobsen and Robin Pomeroy)

Read Full Story