Despite opposition from numerous human rights organizations (including Human Rights Watch who have described the law as ‘the latest in harmful trends’) Denmark has officially joined its European neighbours in becoming yet another nation to ban any and all face-coverings.
The new law was passed in late May, and while officials claim that the new policy is not intended to directly target certain religious groups—veiled Muslim women in Denmark feel that the law is indeed aimed at them.
The new regulations came into effect on 1 August, and in a bold bid to protest its enforcement, models donned their abayas, hijabs and niqabs on the runway at Copenhagen Fashion Week.
The mastermind behind the protest was Iranian-born designer Reza Etamadi, who took the opportunity to make the statement while showcasing his brand MUF10.
“I have a duty to support all women’s freedom of speech and thought,” he said in a statement, before adding, “I have no unanimous attitude toward the ban in general but I have a principle: No man should decide what women should wear”.
Etamadi’s show also included models dressed as policemen, a part of a set designed to provoke lawmakers and law enforcement agencies, who have already charged a 28-year-old woman with a fine when she refused to remove her veil.
With the new law in effect, anyone wearing facial covering can be fined 1,000 Danish Kroners (571 AED / 156 USD), and repeat offenders can be charged with a fine of 10,000 Danish Kroners (4,460 AED / 1,200 USD).