Austria Bans Islamic Dresses for Women, Mandates 12-Month Integration Course

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By Lukas Mikelionis | 11:54 am, June 10, 2017

Austria has passed a controversial law that fines women who wear Islamic dress covering the whole face, and takes away welfare benefits from immigrants who fail to learn the language.

“Those who are not prepared to accept Enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society,” reads the text of the law, RT reported.

Earlier this year, the draft law drew thousands of protesters against the government and parliamentarians, but it was passed by a centrist coalition last month and now was signed by the president.

According to the law, women will face a fine of €150 ($168) if they wear Islamic dresses, either the niqab or the burqa, in public places. In addition to the fines, all new migrants coming to Austria to live will now be forced to take a 12-month “integration course” that includes German language lessons if they wish to receive any welfare benefits.

The new law also makes it illegal for newcomers to distribute incendiary materials, and migrants will be encouraged to volunteer before acquiring permanent work permits in order to prepare them for life in the workplace.

Austria’s attempt to integrate new immigrants has come in response to the migrant crisis rocking most European countries. At least 90,000 migrants, mostly from Muslim-majority countries outside Europe, have arrived to Austria since 2015.

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