Norway moves to ban face veils in universities

Country is latest European state to take action against the garment

June 14, 2017
Niqab
Source: iStock

The Norwegian government is to ban face veils in universities and schools, meaning that students who insist on wearing it could be expelled, according to reports.

The country’s minority government, a coalition between a centre-right and populist party, said it was confident the measure would gain opposition support for the move, according to reports from the Associated Press.

Per Sandberg, the acting minister of immigration and integration, said at a news conference that “face-covering garments such as the niqab or burqa do not belong in Norwegian schools”.

“The ability to communicate is a basic value,” he added. Employees who insisted on wearing a face veil could lose their jobs, he continued. Norway holds elections this September.

The ban was mooted in October last year, when Norway’s education minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen insisted that it would not apply to Islamic headscarves so long as they did not cover the face.

Earlier this year the German state of Bavaria announced plans to ban the face veil in universities, government workplaces and schools, following similar moves in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Bulgaria.

david.matthews@timeshighereducation.com

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