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A Denmark Cop Hugged a Burqa-Clad Woman While She Was Protesting Face Veil Ban

The protesters began a march from the Danish capital's central district of Norrebro to Bellahoj police station on the outskirts of the city.

Anurag Verma | News18.com

Updated:August 6, 2018, 2:08 PM IST
A Denmark Cop Hugged a Burqa-Clad Woman While She Was Protesting Face Veil Ban
Image credits: Andrew Kelly / Reuters

A photo of a cop hugging a burqa-clad woman is doing rounds on the Internet. This comes after a new law in Copenhagen, Denmark that has put the Muslim women in the country in a unique, unfortunate situation.

Denmark's parliament recently rolled out a new ban on the wearing of face veils in public, leaving hundreds upset. As a result, several women wearing the niqab veil or the body-length burqa began a march from the Danish capital's central district of Norrebro to Bellahoj police station to protest on the outskirts of the city on August 1.

“We need to send a signal to the government that we will not bow to discrimination and a law that specifically targets a religious minority,” Sabina, 21, a niqab-garbed student, told Reuters.

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The Internet was soon flooded with photographs from the protest.

Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS

One photo especially caught the eye of social media. Clicked by Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly, the powerful photo shows a Danish policewoman consoling a burqa-clad woman protesting against the ban.

alyah niqab

The photo was enough to diffuse the tense situation, at least temporarily. People on social media patted the policewoman for showing empathy and not slapping the woman-- identified as Alyah with a fine.

"A hug of compassion after face covering ban puts both police and muslim women in awkward positions," wrote one Twitter user.

Under the law, police will be able to instruct women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas. Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen said officers would fine them and tell them to go home.

According to reports, a 28-year-old woman wearing a niqab has already become the first person in Denmark to be fined for violating the controversial law.

As of August 1, wearing a burqa, which covers a person's entire face, or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in public carries a fine of 1,000 kroner.

Repeated violations are fined up to 10,000 kroner.

The ban also targets other accessories that hide the face such as balaclavas, masks and false beards.

Human rights campaigners have slammed the ban as a violation of women's rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

(With Reuters & AFP inputs)

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