Austria bans women from wearing face veils in public places, becomes fifth European country to do so

The Austrian legislature has enacted a new law to ban the use of niqabs and burqas. Although the law bans all face coverings, including scarves, it has been widely understood as targeting Muslim women. The ban also imposes a hefty fine of Euro 175 for every violation. Austria is the fifth European country to ban the burqa, after Belgium, Bulgaria, France and Switzerland. Although burqa bans have been widely criticized for being discriminatory, the Belgian ban on burqas in workplaces was recently upheld by the ECHR.