Austrian government moves to ban full-face veil

Far-right parties in several European nations have called for a ban on the full-face veil.

Story highlights

  • Ban would need Austrian Parliament's approval to be enforced
  • Government plan calls for "religious neutrality" by civil servants

(CNN)The Austrian government has announced plans to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public, part of a raft of measures to contain the rise of the far-right Freedom Party.

The plan -- which would ban the burqa, niqab and other face-covering veils -- echoes calls that German Chancellor Angela Merkel made last month for a similar ban in Germany.
It also comes amid growing concerns of harassment against Muslims around the world following US President Donald Trump's temporary ban on citizens from some Muslim-majority countries entering the United States.
    The Social Democratic and Austrian People's parties, which rule in a coalition, released a 35-page document outlining their vision for Austria as an "open society that requires open communication."
    "Full-face veils in public places are the opposite of that and will be banned," the document said.