The Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) withdrew a bill calling for a ban of burqas and niqabs on Monday after the Riigikogu’s Legal Affairs Committee decided to turn to Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) for legislation concerning a ban against any concealment of individuals’ faces in public.
“Wearers of the burqa cause justified fear among the people of Europe because you can never be sure if it is a woman or a suicide terrorist with bad intentions and a bomb belt,” the initiators of the bill wrote in the explanatory memorandum submitted with the draft legislation last year.
“By prohibiting veils and scarves that hide the face, society gives a clear signal that certain special customs of immigrant people who have arrived in Estonia cannot be more important than local traditions, good practice, and laws,” the memorandum further stated.
According to its chairman, Jaanus Karilaid (Center), the prevailing opinion in the committee was that it was not right to amend the law just with regards to face veils originating in the Arab cultures. “The parliamentary group of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party was ready to withdraw the bill, and it was agreed that in about a month, Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu will submit a proposal for solving the issue of face concealment, and the committee will deal with the issue then,” Karilaid said.
Deputy chairman of EKRE’s parliamentary group, Henn Põlluaas, said that their intent was to improve the security of the people of Estonia. “If a better wording and solution from the legislative point of view is found for banning face veils, then we see no need to stick to our bill at any price,” Põlluaas remarked.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn