A government proposal to ban the wearing of headscarves by judges in the courtroom has received a flood of criticism from groups ranging from lawyers to human rights organisations - all of whom believe the law is an insult to Muslim judges.

A broad parliamentary majority supports the proposal, created in November in the wake of a heated national debate over whether women wearing the Muslim headscarf in the workplace were putting religion over duty.

Former parliament candidate Asmaa Abdol-Hamid started the headscarf furore in April 2007, saying she would continue to wear her headscarf on the job even if elected as an MP. The dispute was further taken up by the Danish Court Administration earlier this year, which ruled that judges should not be banned from wearing religious symbols.

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