Austrian Parliament passes burqa ban

Austria’s parliament voted to ban women from wearing full face coverings in public, part of a package of reforms aimed at integrating Muslim asylum seekers.

In addition, those seeking permanent residence in Austria will be required to attend a series of classes aimed at helping them integrate into Austrian society. Topics to be covered include observing social norms, learning the language and applying for jobs. Migrants who do not attend would see their government stipend reduced.

The changes, voted upon Tuesday, are part of the Austrian government’s efforts to stem the tide of support for the country’s far-right opposition amid turmoil in the ruling government coalition, which has fractured over other matters, prompting a snap election to be called.

It was not immediately clear how many people would be affected by the ban on burqas, nijabs and other religious face coverings. Violators would be subject to a $166 fine.


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