Norway is proposing a ban on the Muslim full face veil and other face-covering clothing because it says it hinders communication between pupils and teachers.
The ban, the first in Scandinavia, targets the niqab as well as burqas, balaclavas and masks, and would apply in nurseries, schools and universities.
However headscarves, hats and caps could continue to be worn.
Most parties support the bill, which is expected to pass next year.
“These clothes prevent good communication, which is important for students to receive a good education,” Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said in a statement.
Interim Minister of Immigration and Integration Per Sandberg said being able to communicate with one another was a “fundamental value”.
Local authorities in Norway can already ban the full-face veil in schools but there is no national policy.
However critics have questioned the bill’s relevance given that the full-face veil is not widely worn in Norway,
“There are …
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