Austria is pressing ahead with a controversial Burka ban
Sebastian Kurz, Austria's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration, said he "will not be deterred" from introducing the ban in the face of condemnation from Muslim organisations.
Mr Kurz said his conservative Austrian People's Party (OVP) agreed with social-democratic coalition partners to prohibit full-face veils, such as the niqab and burka, in public spaces and buildings including courts and schools.
He said: "I have seen criticism from Muslims but I have been given a lot of encouragement from Muslims as well."
Human rights groups fear the burka ban is pandering to populist politicians
I have seen criticism from Muslims but I have been given a lot of encouragement from Muslims as well
Carla Amina Baghajati, the women's commissioner of Austria's Islamic Community, condemned the proposed ban.
She said: "As far as religion is concerned, there is a great disappointment among Muslims that minister Kurz jumped on the populist bandwagon."
Ms Baghajati sugested the an was simply an attempt to stem the growing tide of support for far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) which has an openly anti-Muslim agenda.
Austria's government coalition almost collapsed as talks about how to deal with integration and immigration caused a rift between the conservatives and social-democrats.
Supporters say many Austrian Muslims agree would back a burka ban
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Ms Baghajati also said a burka ban was counter-productive and children putting on headscarves was just "playful testing".
Mr Kurz shrugged off the criticisms and vowed to get the burka ban proposals passed into law.
He said: "I get a lot of encouragement from Muslims who, like the majority of our population, do not want to have anything to do with the full-face veil, who deeply reject it, and agree that there is nothing wrong when the burka, niqab and co. are all banned here in Austria.
Austria feels a Burka ban will help Muslims integrate more Burka bans across Europe Thu, December 22, 2016
Several European countries have banned full-face veils since France's controversial law in 2011
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France: Became first country in Europe to ban the burka in April 2011, with a penalty fine of 150 euro
“It is clear that the integration question is not solved with the prohibition on a full-face veil.
“But it is a clear sign for those who disagree with the way we live and want a parallel society.
“We want to clearly state with such rules what is important to us, what we will tolerate, and what not."
Local media reported that the Austrian coalition is also considering a more general ban on government employees wearing a headscarf and other religious symbols.
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