Burqa ban in Sweden?

In a radio debate between Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (moderate) and leader of the opposition Mona Sahlin (social democrat), Reinfeldt refused to give a straight answer on the possibility of banning of burqas in Sweden. “We don’t need to hide our faces in this way in Sweden”, Reinfeldt said. Sahlin said she was against a law, and that she is willing to fight for a woman’s right to wear a burqa if she wants. When asked again later, Reinfeldt said he doesn’t support a burqa or niqab ban, and that he had been hesitant earlier our of respect for President Sarkozy.

According to Svenska Dagbladet (Independently moderate) none of the parties in parliament officially supports a ban on burqas and niqabs. But individuals in the ruling coalition say they would like to a ban. “It’s un-hygenical and disgusting”, says Annelie Enochsson of the Christian Democratic Party.

According to a census made by Expressen (independently liberal) and the Swedish research consultancy Demoskop, 53 percent of the Swedish population wants a law against wearing burqa and niqab in public, while 46 percent is said to be against a prohibition.