Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Denmark Courts and the Veil

Row over Denmark court veil ban
By Thomas Buch-Andersen
BBC News, Copenhagen

Read the entire political article at the title link above. Here is a sample:

Danish diplomats to Muslim countries are preparing themselves for another wave of anti-Danish protests after the government announced it would bar judges from wearing headscarves and similar religious or political symbols in courtrooms.

Although the ban will include crucifixes, Jewish skull caps and turbans as well as headscarves, the move is seen as being largely aimed at Muslim judges.

It comes after pressure from the Danish People's Party (DPP), known for its anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Earlier this month, the party produced a widely published poster showing a female judge wearing an all-encompassing burka.

The accompanying text argues that a Muslim headscarf is more than just a feather-light piece of clothing. Rather, it suggests, it is a symbol of submission and tyranny.

The final line of text reads: "Give us Denmark back."

. . .

There have been no similar debates in countries like Sweden, Norway and Finland. British courts accept Muslim headscarves, as well as turbans, in courtrooms.

In France, headscarves and other religious symbols are banned in schools and are unthinkable in courtrooms.

But, so far, the presidency of the Danish parliament, the Folketinget, has said that it will not bar parliamentarians from wearing headscarves when speaking in parliament.
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