Source: Pacific Standard


It appears no Austrian party could afford to stand up against the nation’s controversial new veil ban.

On Sunday, the Austrian government put into effect a face-veil ban, which mandates that faces be visible from the hairline to the chin. The enforcement comes weeks ahead of a general election where the populist Freedom Party is expected to make unprecedented gains.

For anyone paying attention, this all feels eerily familiar. And it’s not just the seemingly endless cycle of international elections featuring far-right, anti-immigrant contenders; the Netherlands passed its own pre-election veil ban months ago, in a politic on women’s garments that seems to be replicating itself across the continent. If it seems history is rapidly repeating itself in Europe, that’s because it is.

In November—a few months before the Dutch general election in March—Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD-led parliament passed legislation banning the burqa. The ban directly affected just dozens of women in a country with a sizable North African and Muslim population. Rutte’s ban features the stated aim, among other goals, of further integrating that population into Dutch society.

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