Countries Where the Hijab is a Ban or was Banned Previously

Hijab refers to a garment to cover the head by Muslim women in general. This garment has numerous cultural and legal statuses in different countries. Most of the time, people consider the hijab a symbol of fundamentalism or political Islam against the Government’s secularism. In many countries, strict adherence to the hijab has led to a legal ban proposal and numerous political controversies.

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In Belgium and France, the Government passes the law to ban any clothing covering the individual’s face. Other countries are also fighting similar legislations or at least limited prohibitions. In some countries, you can wear only face coverings like boushiya, niqab, or burqa, while others have strict jurisdictions to any clothing related to the Islamic religion symbol like khimar. There are a total of 16 countries that have banned wearing a hijab in any situation. In this article, we will discuss those countries in detail as follows.


Countries Where Hijab is Ban

Below are some of the countries where the hijab is banned to date.



If you cover your face with a hijab in the Netherlands, you have to pay a fine of a minimum of 150 Euros. The ban also applies to the burqa, other types of veils, balaclavas, and full masked helmets. Moreover, this ban was enforced after 14 years of debate among renowned political personalities. The Dutch parliament voted in favor of the complete ban proposal for the hijab in 2005. It was first started by the lawmaker named Geert Wilders. Parliament later changed the proposal and reintroduced a milder version in 2016. According to a survey, almost 200 to 400 Muslim women wear a hijab, niqab, or a burqa, regularly in 17 million.



The Government has banned any sort of face veils in Austria since the year 2017 under the law against face-covering clothes. The law states that people need to display their faces from chin to hairline when in a public place. If anyone covers these facial zones, they have to pay a fine of 150 Euros. Primary schools have also banned headscarves for children up to 10 years of age in 2023. Parents who will send their children wearing a hijab will also have to pay a fine of 440 Euros.



Belgium banned all sorts of full-face veils in July 2011. Anyone who is seen not to abide by this law has to pay a fine or need to spend seven days in jail. Although the bans have affected a few people, around 300 Muslim women used to wear a hijab daily. Belgium is the home of nearly one million Muslim populations.



France was among the first European nations to ban the wearing of the hijab and full-face veils in public from April 2011. The law has no mention of any explicit religion to avoid any discrimination allegations. The law clearly states that no one should wear clothing in a public place that will cover their face. Most of the French schools have banned all the headscarves since 2004. Only 2000 women out of five million Muslim populations used to wear a veil.



Denmark has announced the use of a full-face veil since 1st August 2018. The Danish Government has validated the law with 30 votes against and 75 votes for the rule. People who will break this law will have to face a fine of up to 135 Euros, which might enhance in case you are a repeated offender.



Like the Netherlands, Bulgaria has also introduced a hijab ban in 2016. Offenders will have to face a fine of up to 750 Euros and suspension of all the social benefits in case they wear the hijab openly in public zones. There are some places where exceptions are there, like while playing a sport, or a mosque.



Wearing a face-covering veil or headscarves in public places has been banned in Tunisia since the year 1981. After the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, there is a constant protest from 2011 to abolish the ban. But the law is still in its effect.


Countries where Hijab was Banned

Below are some of the countries where the hijab was banned previously, but now it has been lifted.



President Bassar al-Assad reversed a ban proposal in 2011, implemented less than one year earlier. The law also forbids teachers to wear a hijab in school.



Last year, Turkey’s secular Government removed all the restrictions on the headscarves, even on the government workers and teachers. The Government still does not allow the attire in the police, judiciary, and military jobs.


Many other countries are still debating or discussing banning a full-face veil or hijab, including Switzerland, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Norway, and Latvia. Some parts of Spain have already started a local ban on the hijab. Thus this garment is still a controversial topic that has led to bans in some countries with strict jurisdiction.