An Austrian Man Dressed In A Shark Costume Was Fined For Violating Anti-Burqa Laws

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DW- Austrian police issued a fine to a man dressed as a shark under new anti-burqa laws, Austrian media reported on Monday.

The mascot was standing outside a new outlet of the McShark electronics store in Vienna when he was asked by police to remove his shark head. When he refused, he was issued with a fine, which can be up to €150 ($176).

The new laws aimed at prohibiting people from covering their faces in public came into effect at the start of October.

Daily newspaper Heute reported the offending mascot told police “I’m just doing my job,” when approached by officers.

The laws were written in such a way to be religiously-neutral, but that has led to widespread confusion in the German-speaking nation. Vienna daily Der Standard reported that in one case a cyclist was stopped by police for covering her face with a scarf.

Not sure why this guy is so upset. Looks like a burqa to me. A burqa is an enveloping garment typically worn by some Islamic women to cover themselves in public. This guy could easily be a woman–who are we to say–and that shark-themed burqa definitely envelops his head. If Austrian law says no more burqas, then it doesn’t matter what fun spin you put on your burqa. Shark, transformer, gimp, and burn victim are all OUT.

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Personally, I love it. The law was written to be religiously-neutral, so pretty much anybody wearing anything on their head had better stay inside. Because these days, you never know if someone is exercising their religion or just making a fashion statement. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to watch the Austrian police tackle and cuff Lady Gaga for wearing one of her trademark “hats.”

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Not sure what they plan to do about Halloween. Maybe they don’t celebrate it over there. Too many mountains probably.

PS- it always amazes me how legally, at least, we’re much more tolerant of different religions in America than many European countries. Can you imagine if we tried to ban veils, burqas, yarmulkas, cross pendants, satan bracelets, anything from hot topic, or whatever Tom Cruise wears on his days of worship? Not a chance.