On Monday, the Norwegian government introduced a bill that would effectively prohibit Muslims from wearing “full face” veils in the nation's schools, saying the garments inhibit "good communication" between students and teachers.
Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said this in a statement:
We do not want clothes covering the face in nurseries, schools and universities[…]These clothes prevent good communication, which is important for students to receive a good education.
The “full face” veil refers to what those in Islamic faith call the "niqab." A niqab covers both the head and face with just a slight opening for the eyes.
According to Breitbart:
Norwegian media reported the government can count on the support of most parties, saying the bill was expected to pass in the spring of 2018.
Local authorities in Norway already have the power to ban the veil in schools, however there is no uniform national policy. At this stage, the bill does not lay out consequences for disregarding the proposed law.
According to a late 2016 article by Express, other countries have already banned burkas -- full-body clothing worn by Islamic women -- in one way or another.
The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt (in the process), Switzerland, Italy and Chad are all nations that have either banned or are in the process of banning the burka, the hijab or the niqab.
“Clothes covering the face, like the niqab and the burqa, have no place in Norwegian schools,” Per Sandberg, interim minister of immigration and integration, said. “It is a fundamental value to be able to communicate with each other.”
Items like the niqab are also cause for security concerns. While the head-to-toe coverups are typically worn by women, anyone could be under the coverings.