A Danish Muslim woman was deported from Europe on Friday after refusing to remove her face veil to show her face to border control agents in Belgium.
The woman was returning to Europe from a trip to Tunisia. In transit, she refused to show her face to border agents in Tunis but was allowed onto her plane. When arriving in Brussels, the woman again refused to remove her veil for security to check her identity.
"Our border police then refused her access to the Schengen area. Without identity checks, no access to our territory," Belgium's Immigration Minister Theo Francken said, according to RT.
Belgium officially banned the niqab and burqa back in 2011. Women who wear the garment in public can face fines and up to seven days in jail, according to Al Jazeera.
In July, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the controversial ban after two Muslim women filed a complaint against the law.
Relatedly, Belgium's immigration minister is known for his controversial stances on immigration and nationalism. He is a member of the conservative New Flemish Alliance party, which supports the secession of Flanders from Belgium.
Francken also made headlines last year when he blocked a Syrian refugee family from receiving a visa after a court ruling granted them one. His controversial decision was later upheld by the European Court of Justice.
Although several other European countries, including France and Austria, have banned the face veil, Denmark has not done so.
In 2016, Venestre, Denmark’s ruling party, expressed support for a school that banned the niqab and burqa for its students. The Danish People's Party (DPP) also wants a full ban on the garment in public, according to The Independent.
"We want a total ban except for within one’s private home. One can do whatever they want there," DPP spokesman Martin Henriksen said.