Austria’s parliament has approved a package of measures that outlaws distributing the Koran and wearing traditional Islamic full-face veils in public. Starting in October, a €150 fine ($166) will be levied on women wearing burkas and niqabs.

The legislative package that was passed on Tuesday night also requires asylum seekers to take a one-year integration course, during which they must learn Austrian ethics and the German language, German newspaper Bild reported.

Under the new measures, migrants must also perform unpaid public work or face losing benefits or other consequences. The requirement is meant to better prepare refugees for the Austrian labor market, according to Bild.

The measure received the go-ahead from both ruling parties, the Social Democratic Party (the SPÖ) and center-right Austrian People’s Party (the ÖVP), Austria’s news outlet oe24.at reported.

Opposition parties have criticized the move, however, saying it is doubtful that banning full-face veils will contribute to integration.

Attacks on migrant facilities doubled in Austria in 2016 compared to the previous year. The acts committed by the perpetrators ranged from hurling Molotov cocktails at buildings to slashing gas pipes, officials said last month.

Austria has received more than 130,000 asylum claims from applicants from the Middle East and North Africa since the summer of 2015. The country of some 8.7 million people has taken in more refugees per capita than any other country in Europe, apart from Sweden.


Source: Austria passes law forbidding full-face Islamic veils in public — RT News