Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has dismissed face-veils as unwelcome in Denmark. “Neither the burqa nor the niqab have their place in Danish society. We meet each other at eye level, where we can see each other and where we gesticulate with each other,” Rasmussen asserted during his weekly press conference.
The comments came a day after a report, commissioned by the Social Affairs Ministry and written by University of Copenhagen researchers, showed that the niqab and the burqa are only worn by between 100 and 200 Muslim women in the country.
Denmark is home to some 100,000 Muslim women, who represent about 1.9 percent of the country’s total population of 5.5 million.
The issue has stirred a heated debate in Denmark and has divided the two-party coalition government since August 2009.