Austria's 'Burqa Ban' law comes into force

FILE - In this June 28, 2014 file photo veiled women attend a speech by preacher Pierre Vogel, in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, Germany. A law that forbids any kind of full-face covering, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa, has come into force in Austria Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Only a small number of Muslim women in Austria wear full-face veils, but they have become a target for right-wing groups and political parties. France and Belgium have similar laws and the nationalist Alternative for Germany party is calling for a burqa ban there too. (Boris Roessler/dpa via AP,file)

VIENNA — A law that forbids any kind of full-face covering, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa, has come into force in Austria.

Starting Sunday, wearing a ski mask off the slopes, a surgical mask outside hospitals and party masks in public is prohibited.

The law, popularly known as the "Burqa Ban," is mostly seen as a directed at the dress worn by some ultra-conservative Muslim women.

Violations carry a possible fine of 150 euros (nearly $180.) Police are authorized to use force if people resist showing their faces.

Only a small number of Muslim women in Austria wear full-face veils, but they have become a target for right-wing groups and political parties.

France and Belgium have similar laws. The nationalist Alternative for Germany party is calling for one there, too.

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