Austrian 'Burqa Ban' Confuses Police - And Sharks

Austria's Burqa Ban Spares No One, Not Even People Dressed As Sharks

Austrian 'Burqa Ban' Confuses Police - And Sharks

A man in a full-body shark costume in Austria has been bitten by the country's recently implemented "burqa ban" for covering his face.

Police in Vienna recently approached a poor worker, whose name remains undisclosed, posing as a mascot in front of an electronic retail store, promoting a new Apple device.

Police issued a misdemeanor citation to the man along with a fine, which can be nearly as high as $180.

The shark was fined 150 euros.

Nekkaz promised in September, before Austria's Integration Law took effect October 1, to pray the fines of any woman charged for wearing an Islamic face veil in Austria.

Several bikers have already been pulled over for covering their faces, according to Newsweek and some street performers have been issued warnings.

The managing director of the advertising agency behind the campaign, Eugen Prosquill, reportedly told the Vienna newspaper Heute he didn't know the new law also applied to characters in costumes.

Local paper Österreich reports that those who reported the man in the shark costume in the first place were likely doing so to prove a point.

Although the authorities claim the burqa ban is not a religious restriction and is aimed at "ensuring the cohesion of society in an open society", the implantation of the law has created massive confusion.

While Halloween festivities will not be affected by this ban, women in Austria will only be allowed to wear the face veil under certain conditions - such as "at cultural events".

Austria's "burka ban" came after similar restrictions were brought in across France and Belgium and partial bans introduced in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

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