Norway has announced plans to ban the full-face Islamic veil from classrooms and university lecture halls.
The country’s right-wing government announced the decision on Wednesday.
“The government is seeking national regulations prohibiting the full-face veil in schools and universities,” said Torbjorn Roe Isaksen, Norway’s Education Minister, quoted in the Vart Land newspaper.
The issue came up in recent political debates and several political parties, including the opposition Labour Party, have expressed support for the ban.
This is while Muslim women are very rarely seen wearing such veils in Norway.
Roe Isaksen underlined that the ban does not target Islamic headscarves that do not cover the face such as hijab, saying that people should be allowed to express their religious beliefs in public in Norway.
"I want a young Christian girl who wears a cross to be able to show it. I want a Jewish boy who wears a kippa to be able to show it. And I do not want a ban on the hijab," he told parliament.
The move to ban Islamic veil in Norway comes as several European countries have decided to band the face-covering niqab and full-body burqa.
Also on Friday, Bulgaria banned wearing of the full veil in public. Last week, Switzerland's lower house approved a similar nationwide ban.
Recently, local bans on the full body "burkini" Islamic swimsuit sparked international controversy.