Several countries in Europe have been debating the legality of so-called “burqa bans” which prevent Muslims and other religious people from wearing traditional head coverings in certain places.
In Italy, a 40-year-old woman from Albania was recently fined for refusing to remove her burqa, which covered her entire body except for her eyes.
The woman, who has not been identified, was reportedly trying to get into a council meeting in Pordenone, but when she was denied entry unless she removed her covering, police had to escort her from the building, according to the U.K. Express.
Her refusal to remove her burqa and subsequent refusal to leave the building landed the Albanian woman in court, where she was initially fined roughly $650 along with a four-month suspended jail sentence.
But she appealed, which resulted in the woman choosing between the fou- month jail sentence and a $28,500 fine for failing to identify herself. She chose the latter.
Prosecutor Federico Facchin cited Italian law, which forbids “the use of protective helmets, or any other means to stop the recognition of a person, in a public place or open to the public, without justification,” Express reported.
While this was the first conviction of its kind in Italy, other European countries have been struggling with the issue for a while.
For example, in France, the high court recently overturned rulings that had banned women from wearing “burkinis” on French beaches.
There have been legitimate arguments on both sides of the debate, with proponents of anti-burqa laws citing safety concerns, particularly in light of recent terrorist attacks perpetrated by radical Islamists in major cities across the world.
On the other hand, the laws and rulings that ban religious coverings have infringed upon individuals’ freedom of religion and freedom of speech — which may not be as respected in other countries as they are in the United States.
Although we haven’t encountered this specific legal issue in our own country yet, it probably isn’t too far off. And when or if it does happen, we must tread carefully to balance the rights and concerns of all those involved.
Like and share on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think about this woman in Italy being punished for refusing to remove her burqa at a council meeting.
Like us on Facebook – USA Liberty News
Why do you think burqas should or should not be banned in certain places? Scroll down to comment below!