The government of Austria may ban burqas and other full-face veils commonly worn by Islamic women, CNN reports.
That would make it the fourth European Union nation to do so amid growing concerns over Islamophobia. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has also called for a ban.
A coalition of Austria's leading political parties published a 35-page document calling for an "open society that requires open communications. Full-face veils in public places are the opposite of that and will be banned."
The plan would also require asylum seekers and some immigrants to sign an "integration contract" with harsh sanctions if the contract is violated.
France banned burqas in public places in 2011. Belgium and Bulgaria followed suit. Some Dutch lawmakers have supported a ban, but it has not been approved. Parts of Italy and Switzerland have also banned burqas, Express reports.
The most popular kinds of Muslim head coverings
- Hijab: A headscarf that covers the hair and neck,leaving the face exposed. This also refers to the practice of covering up in general, the BBC reports.
- Niqab: A veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear, but covers everything else.
- Burka: A veil that covers the entire face and body, sometimes with a mesh screen to see through.