Wearing face-coverings in Austria, including but not limited to masquerading as a Megabus seat, is now verboten. The law, which went into effect on Sunday, is commonly known as the “Burqa ban”: a policy which has propagated in various forms across European countries like Belgium, France, and the Netherlands and is gaining popularity. The rationale is, of course, “acceptance,” acceptance of rejecting burqas. As stated in the ruling announcing the ban earlier this year:
Acceptance and respect of Austrian values are basic conditions for successful cohabitation between the majority Austrian population and people from third countries living in Austria.
The law is supposedly aimed at women in burqas and niqabs–which, the Conversation has pointed out, amounts to around 150 people in Austria. Wearing a burqa, niqab, but also, seriously, a clown face, surgical mask, ski mask, a fedora/fake mustache combo, or oversized turtleneck pulled all the way up is punishable by a fine of 150 euros, and police may use force if citizens refuse to remove their face-coverings.
Already, one woman has been forced by armed policed to remove her veil, reports Metro UK.
Austria’s own president isn’t for this.