Alexander Van der Bellen, Austria’s far-left president, has raised quite a few eyebrows after suggesting all women must wear headscarves to address Islamophobia in the country, 100% Fed Up reports.
While believing that women should wear whatever they want, Van der Bellen said they should one day wear headscarves if Austria’s “rampant Islamophobia” continues.
His comments come following the government’s decision in January to ban the public wearing of full-face veil, as part of an attempt to halt the rising popularity of the far-right Freedom Party.
Van der Bellen, who made the statements during a talk with students Monday, is an independent who won over right-wing candidate Norbert Hofer in an unprecedented repeat vote in December.
The Austrian president, however, doesn’t have much influence over Austrian policy, since the president’s role is primarily ceremonial and symbolic.
Last month, the European Court of Justice ruled that companies can ban the use of full-face Islamic veil, called the burqa, under general rules prohibiting visible religious symbols in the workplace.