Excerpt:

With her niqab, a face-covering Islamic veil that reveals just the wearer's eyes, Liga Legzdina stands out amid pine trees, grasslands and wood-paneled cottages in the Latvian hamlet of Zaube.

Villagers stare. Ms. Legzdina is one of a tiny handful of women — generally estimated at three — to wear the niqab in this Baltic nation, whose population of less than two million people includes about 1,000 practicing Muslims, according to government estimates.

But for Latvia's Ministry of Justice, that is three niqabs too many. Citing a desire to protect Latvian culture and to address security concerns at a time of rising migration to Europe, the government is working on proposed legislation, inspired partly by similar restrictions on head coverings in France, that would ban face-covering veils from public spaces. The proposal would not ban the wearing of head scarves that do not cover the face, like hijabs, the coverings most commonly worn by Muslim women.


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