A new law banning the wearing of Muslim headscarves will go into effect this Sunday in Austria.
The law also bans other non-religious items, such as medical face masks and clown face paint, except under specific circumstances. The law affects the wear of these items in public, to include schools and public transportation.
Austria is now the fifth European country to pass a law specifically targeting the Muslim population of refugees, immigrants, and tourists. Austrian politicians say the law is to retain Austrian culture. The others—France, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Switzerland—have made similar arguments when adopting their own versions of a ban. Germany has a partial ban that only applies while driving.
The ban only targets veils which fully cover the face, like the burqa and niqab. Other religious garments, like the hijab, which does not conceal the face, are still legal in public.