Laws Restricting Face-Coverings and Religious Symbols

Compiled by David Rand

Updated 2019-10-26

Summary

Bans on face-coverings

  • In public
    • Austria since 2017-10
    • Belgium since 2011-07-23
    • Bulgaria since 2016-09
    • Cameroon since 2015-07
    • Chad since 2015-06
    • China [Xinjiang] since 2017
    • Congo-Brazzaville since 2015
    • Denmark since 2018-08-01
    • Egypt since 2016
    • France since 2011-04-11
    • Italy [Some northern regions] since 1975
    • Morocco since 2017-01
    • Morocco since 2018
    • Niger [Diffa] since 2015
    • Sri Lanka since 2019-04-28
    • Switzerland since 2016-09
    • Switzerland [Canton of Saint-Gall] since 2018-09-23
    • Switzerland [Canton of Ticino] since 2016-07-01
  • In public services
    • Canada [Quebec] since 2019-06-16
    • Italy [Lombardy] since 2016-01-01
    • Malaysia since 1994
    • Netherlands since 2019-08-01
    • Tunisia since 2019-07-05
  • Worn by public servants while on duty
    • Algeria since 2018-10-18
    • Germany since 2017-04
    • Germany [Bavaria] since 2017-02

Bans on religious symbols

  • Worn by public servants while on duty
    • France since 2007
    • Switzerland [Canton of Geneva] since 2019-02-10
  • Worn by public servants in positions of authority
    • Canada [Quebec] since 2019-06-16
  • In public schools
    • Belgium [Boussu] since 2019-10
    • Belgium [Bruxelles]
    • France since 2004
    • United States of America [Pennsylvania] since 1895
Country
[Region]
Date Restrictions & Notes References
Algeria 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 2011-06-01
[Effective: 2011-07-23]
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
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
[Bruxelles]
  • Ban on religious symbols in public schools.
Belgium
  • Ban on religious symbols worn by judges, police, military and fire-fighters.
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
[Repealed: 2018-12]
  • 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 in public.
China
[Xinjiang]
2017
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • Ban on Islamic beards in public.
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 2007
  • Ban on religious symbols worn by public servants while on duty.
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.
Germany
[Berlin]
  • Ban on religious symbols in public services.
  • The ban applies in the lander of Berlin.
Germany
[Hesse]
  • Ban on religious symbols in public services.
  • The ban applies in the lander of Hesse in the centre-west of Germany.
Iran 1936
[Repealed: 1979]
  • Ban on hijabs in public.
  • Ban on chadors in public.
  • 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 in public.
Morocco 2018
  • Ban on face coverings in public.
  • Ban on face coverings: manufacture and sale 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 in public.
  • 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. Baele, Myriam, La Ville de Bruxelles rappelle l’interdiction du voile pour les sorties scolaires
  13. BBC, The Islamic veil across Europe
  14. Blair, David, Why West Africa’s Muslim-majority states are banning the burqa
  15. Canada, Parlement, Le maintien de l’ordre et le décorum
  16. Canada, Parliament, Rules of Order and Decorum
  17. CNEWS, L’Égypte veut interdire le niqab dans les lieux publics
  18. Dearden, Lizzie, Austrian parliament passes burqa ban seeing Muslim women face £130 fines for wearing full-face veils
  19. Dearden, Lizzie, Burqa bans: After Angela Merkel calls for prohibition on full veils, what is the situation in other European countries?
  20. Dearden, Lizzie, China bans burqas and ‘abnormal’ beards in Muslim province of Xinjiang
  21. Dearden, Lizzie, German parliament votes in favour of partial burqa ban
  22. Dearden, Lizzie, German state bans burqa in schools and government buildings as part of ‘Christian values’
  23. 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
  24. [other], ECOWAS LEADERS SEEK TO BAN WEARING OF HIJABS (FULL FACE VEILS)
  25. Éditeur officiel du Québec, Loi sur la laïcité de l’État
  26. Evans, Stephen, Do Burqa Bans Do More Harm Than Good?
  27. The Express Tribune, Burqas distributed among schoolgirls in K-P
  28. E. Brl., Boussu: les signes religieux clairement interdits dans les écoles communales de l’entité
  29. Foster, Alice, Where in the world are the burka and niqab banned?
  30. franceinfo avec Reuters, La Tunisie interdit le port du niqab dans les établissements publics
  31. Gagné, Jean-Simon, Port de signes religieux: la carte des interdictions européennes
  32. Govan, Fiona, Spain overturns Islamic face veil ban
  33. HuffPost Algérie, Le directeur général des douanes rappelle que le port du voile est interdit selon la réglementation en vigueur
  34. Huffpost Tunisie, La présidence du gouvernement interdit l’entrée aux bâtiments publics aux personnes dont le visage serait couvert
  35. Johnson, Boris, Denmark has got it wrong. Yes, the burka is oppressive and ridiculous – but that’s still no reason to ban it
  36. Klijnman, Carline, Islamic Veil and Distribution of Quran Banned in Austria
  37. Krasimirov, Angel, Bulgaria bans full-face veils in public places
  38. Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka bans any form of face covering that will hinder the identification of a person under emergency regulations.
  39. Makedhi, Madjid, Interdiction du niqab à l’école
  40. Magazine Marianne, Interdiction de la burqa dans des espaces publics : les Pays-Bas s’y mettent
  41. Namazie, Maryam, Britain should ban the niqab
  42. Namazie, Maryam, Neither Veil nor Submission
  43. ng/amp, German court: Sikhs have to wear helmets on motorbikes
  44. Oltermann, Philip, Austria approves headscarf ban in primary schools
  45. Ouest-France avec AFP, Sénégal. Une école catholique refuse d’admettre des élèves voilées lors de la rentrée
  46. Québec Official Publisher, An Act respecting the laicity of the State
  47. Reuters Staff, Barcelona to ban veil in public buildings
  48. RT France, Le port du voile à l’école bientôt interdit en Belgique ? Ce qu’il en est chez ses voisins (VIDEO)
  49. RT, Interdire la burqa ? Un canton suisse vote massivement pour
  50. RT, Le voile islamique restera finalement autorisé lors des sorties scolaires
  51. Sanghani, Radhika, Burka bans: The countries where Muslim women can’t wear veils
  52. Shérazade, Le gouvernement Algérien interdit le voile intégral « niqab » dans les lieux de travail
  53. Sioui, Marie-Michèle, Québec renonce une fois de plus à défendre sa loi sur la neutralité religieuse
  54. Smith, Roff, Why Turkey Lifted Its Ban on the Islamic Headscarf
  55. Stickings, Tim, EGYPT considers banning the burqa in crackdown against Islamic extremists
  56. Vignal, François, Sorties scolaires : le Sénat vote pour l’interdiction du port du voile pour les mères accompagnatrices
  57. 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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