Laws Restricting Face-Coverings and Religious Symbols

Compiled by David Rand

Updated 2019-10-09

Country
[Region]
Date Restrictions & Notes References
Algeria 2018
[Effective: 2018]
  • Ban on face coverings in public schools.
  • Decision by the Ministry of Education to enforce an existing rule (original date unknown).
Algeria 2018-10-18
  • Ban on face coverings worn by public servants while on duty.
  • Official ban on the full veil (niqab) in the workplace, published by the Direction Générale de la Fonction Publique (DGFP).
Austria 2017-05
[Effective: 2017-10]
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • Ban on the quran in public.
Austria 2018
[Effective: 2019-05]
  • Ban on hijabs in child-care centres.
  • Ban on hijabs in primary schools.
Belgium
[Boussu]
2019-10
  • Ban on religious symbols in public schools.
  • The municipal council of Boussu (near Mons) has decided that, henceforth, any symbols of political, ideological or religious affiliation, including those worn as clothing, will be banned in schools.
Belgium 2011-06-01
[Effective: 2011-07-23]
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
Bulgaria 2016-09
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
Cameroon 2015-07
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • The ban was adopted following suicide bombings by people wearing veils.
  • The ban is now active in five of the country’s provinces.
Canada
[Quebec]
2017-10-18
  • Ban on face coverings in public services.
  • Bill 62
  • The ban is extremely weak because of exceptions allowed by the law.
  • The ban (section 10 of Bill 62) has been temporarily suspended by Quebec Superior Court as of December 2017.
Canada
[Quebec]
2019-06-16
  • Ban on religious symbols worn by public servants in positions of authority, including public school teachers.
  • Ban on face coverings in public services.
  • Bill 21
Chad 2015-06
  • Ban on face coverings everywhere.
China
[Xinjiang]
2017
  • Ban on face coverings everywhere.
  • Ban on Islamic beards everywhere.
Congo-Brazzaville 2015
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • Congo-Brazzaville’s official name is Republic of the Congo, not to be confused with Congo-Kinshasa or the Democratic Republic of the Congo whose capital is Kinshasa.
Denmark 2008
  • Ban on religious symbols worn by judges in courtrooms.
Denmark 2018-05-31
[Effective: 2018-08-01]
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
Egypt 2016
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
France 2004
  • Ban on religious symbols in public schools.
France 2010-10-11
[Effective: 2011-04-11]
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • France was the first European country to institute a nationalwide ban on the full veil in public.
France 2016
[Repealed: 2016-08-26]
  • Ban on the burkini in public.
  • The burkini ban was overthrown by France’s highest administrative court.
France 2019-05
[Repealed: 2019-06-13]
  • Ban on religious symbols worn by facilitators of extracurricular activities.
Germany 2017-04
  • Ban on face coverings worn by public servants while on duty.
Germany
[Bavaria]
2017-02
  • Ban on face coverings worn by public servants while on duty.
Iran 1936
[Repealed: 1979]
  • Ban on hijabs everywhere.
  • Ban on chadors everywhere.
  • Ban instituted by Pahlavi ruler Reza Shah.
Italy
[Some northern regions]
1975
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
Italy
[Lombardy]
2015-12
[Effective: 2016-01-01]
  • Ban on face coverings in public services.
  • Ban on the burkini in public.
Malaysia 1994
  • Ban on face coverings in public services.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijab_by_country#Malaysia
Morocco 2017-01
  • Ban on face coverings everywhere.
Morocco 2018
  • Ban on face coverings everywhere, manufacture and sale also forbidden.
  • It is henceforth forbidden to manufacture, sell or wear the burqa, a traditional article of clothing worn by the Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan.
Netherlands 2018-06
[Effective: 2019-08-01]
  • Ban on face coverings in public services.
  • More precisely: Ban on wearing clothing that completely covers the face or only shows the eyes, in educational institutions, on public transport, in government institutions and hospitals.
Niger
[Diffa]
2015
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • Diffa is a southern region of the country, bordering on a part of Nigeria where Boko Haram is active.
Russia
[Stavropol]
2013-07
  • Ban on hijabs everywhere.
  • July, 2013 is the date that Russia’s Supreme Court upheld the ban.
Spain
[Barcelona and other parts of Catalonia]
2010
[Repealed: 2013]
  • Ban on face coverings in public services.
  • The ban was adopted only in some parts of Catalonia.
  • The repeal occurred only in some parts of Catalonia and is maintained in others.
Sri Lanka 2019-04-28
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
Switzerland 2016-09
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • This measure, which would apply nationwide, has not yet become law.
Switzerland
[Canton of Geneva]
2019-02-10
  • Ban on religious symbols worn by public servants while on duty.
Switzerland
[Canton of Saint-Gall]
2018-09-23
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
Switzerland
[Canton of Ticino]
2013-09
[Effective: 2016-07-01]
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
Tunisia 1987-08-12
  • Ban on Islamic veils worn by public servants while on duty.
Tunisia 2019-07-05
  • Ban on face coverings in public services.
Turkey 1923
[Repealed: 2013]
  • Ban on religious symbols worn by public servants while on duty.
  • The ban applied to all veils, including the hijab, i.e. not just those which cover the face.
  • The repeal applied to the hijab, but the ban remained in effect in the judiciary, military and police.
  • The repeal was extended to the police in August 2016, so policewomen may now wear the hijab.
United States of America 1837
[Repealed: 2019]
  • Ban on head coverings worn by members in the legislative assembly.
  • The repeal was announced in late 2018 and is expected to become effective in 2019.
United States of America
[Nebraska]
1919
[Repealed: 2017]
  • Ban on religious symbols in public schools.
United States of America
[Pennsylvania]
1895
  • Ban on religious symbols in public schools.
  • It is expected that the ban will be repealed very soon.

References

  1. Agence France-Presse, Dutch approve partial ban on burqa wearing in public
  2. Agence France-Presse, Full veil banned in Niger over Boko Haram fears
  3. Agence France-Presse, Genève interdit aux employés publics de porter des signes religieux
  4. AFP, Pays-Bas: début de l’interdiction de la burqa dans les espaces publics
  5. Agence France-Presse, Le voile bientôt banni de l’école en Autriche
  6. Agence France-Presse, Le voile désormais autorisé dans le Congrès américain
  7. Agence France-Presse, Stockholm, Le voile intégral interdit dans l’espace public au Danemark
  8. Agerholm, Harriet, Morocco bans burqa over security concerns
  9. AlgerieMondeInfos, Maroc : interdiction de la fabrication, la vente et le port de la burqa
  10. ATS, St-Gall devient le deuxième canton à interdire la burqa
  11. Ayoye Monde, L’Égypte songe maintenant bannir la burqa
  12. BBC, The Islamic veil across Europe
  13. Blair, David, Why West Africa’s Muslim-majority states are banning the burqa
  14. Canada, Parlement, Le maintien de l’ordre et le décorum
  15. Canada, Parliament, Rules of Order and Decorum
  16. CNEWS, L’Égypte veut interdire le niqab dans les lieux publics
  17. Dearden, Lizzie, Austrian parliament passes burqa ban seeing Muslim women face £130 fines for wearing full-face veils
  18. Dearden, Lizzie, Burqa bans: After Angela Merkel calls for prohibition on full veils, what is the situation in other European countries?
  19. Dearden, Lizzie, China bans burqas and ‘abnormal’ beards in Muslim province of Xinjiang
  20. Dearden, Lizzie, German parliament votes in favour of partial burqa ban
  21. Dearden, Lizzie, German state bans burqa in schools and government buildings as part of ‘Christian values’
  22. Devaney, Beulah Maud, Listen to what Muslim women in the Netherlands say about the Dutch burqa ban and you’ll realise why it won’t stop radicalisation
  23. [other], ECOWAS LEADERS SEEK TO BAN WEARING OF HIJABS (FULL FACE VEILS)
  24. Éditeur officiel du Québec, Loi sur la laïcité de l’État
  25. Evans, Stephen, Do Burqa Bans Do More Harm Than Good?
  26. E. Brl., Boussu: les signes religieux clairement interdits dans les écoles communales de l’entité
  27. Foster, Alice, Where in the world are the burka and niqab banned?
  28. franceinfo avec Reuters, La Tunisie interdit le port du niqab dans les établissements publics
  29. Govan, Fiona, Spain overturns Islamic face veil ban
  30. HuffPost Algérie, Le directeur général des douanes rappelle que le port du voile est interdit selon la réglementation en vigueur
  31. Huffpost Tunisie, La présidence du gouvernement interdit l’entrée aux bâtiments publics aux personnes dont le visage serait couvert
  32. Johnson, Boris, Denmark has got it wrong. Yes, the burka is oppressive and ridiculous – but that’s still no reason to ban it
  33. Klijnman, Carline, Islamic Veil and Distribution of Quran Banned in Austria
  34. Krasimirov, Angel, Bulgaria bans full-face veils in public places
  35. Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka bans any form of face covering that will hinder the identification of a person under emergency regulations.
  36. Makedhi, Madjid, Interdiction du niqab à l’école
  37. Magazine Marianne, Interdiction de la burqa dans des espaces publics : les Pays-Bas s’y mettent
  38. Namazie, Maryam, Britain should ban the niqab
  39. Namazie, Maryam, Neither Veil nor Submission
  40. ng/amp, German court: Sikhs have to wear helmets on motorbikes
  41. Oltermann, Philip, Austria approves headscarf ban in primary schools
  42. Ouest-France avec AFP, Sénégal. Une école catholique refuse d’admettre des élèves voilées lors de la rentrée
  43. Québec Official Publisher, An Act respecting the laicity of the State
  44. Reuters Staff, Barcelona to ban veil in public buildings
  45. RT, Interdire la burqa ? Un canton suisse vote massivement pour
  46. RT, Le voile islamique restera finalement autorisé lors des sorties scolaires
  47. Sanghani, Radhika, Burka bans: The countries where Muslim women can’t wear veils
  48. Shérazade, Le gouvernement Algérien interdit le voile intégral « niqab » dans les lieux de travail
  49. Sioui, Marie-Michèle, Québec renonce une fois de plus à défendre sa loi sur la neutralité religieuse
  50. Smith, Roff, Why Turkey Lifted Its Ban on the Islamic Headscarf
  51. Stickings, Tim, EGYPT considers banning the burqa in crackdown against Islamic extremists
  52. Vignal, François, Sorties scolaires : le Sénat vote pour l’interdiction du port du voile pour les mères accompagnatrices
  53. Willingham, A. J., New Muslim congresswoman will seek to allow religious headwear in the House

One comment on “Laws Restricting Face-Coverings and Religious Symbols
  1. Fouad khoury says:

    Unfortunately in Canada
    Our charter of rights is too
    Vague. Should be revised
    And modified to face those
    Who are trying to impose their imported ideology and
    Culture.

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