Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Man Gets Snared in 'Burqa Ban' for Wearing Full-body Shark Costume

Man Gets Snared in 'Burqa Ban' for Wearing Full-body Shark Costume

Austria's new burqa ban became a cynosure once again and this for a weird reason when a man dressed as a massive shark was arrested.

An Austrian law that forbids any kind of full-face covering including Islamic veils has claimed an unusual victim - a man wearing a shark suit.

The new law extends to other face coverings, including costumes and even people on motorbikes who wear scarves, according to Die Welt.

The arrested occurred when the man was standing outside a shop called McShark, dressed up as a shark in order to promote the new tech store in Vienna.

The officers reportedly asked him to take off his shark mask or face fines.

"I'm just doing my job", he told them, refusing to take it off.

Violators of the law can be fined 150 pounds, the equivalent of about $176.

"I didn't know that the law goes so far that mascots are affected", Eugen Prosquill, the managing director of the Warda Network, the advertising agency behind the campaign, told Heute.

Instead, Austrians are no longer legally allowed to cover their faces or else be fined. The newly implemented legislation also placed restrictions on surgical masks, ski masks and clown makeup worn in public spaces.

"Acceptance and respect of Austrian values are basic conditions for successful cohabitation between the majority [of the] Austrian population and people from third [world] countries living in Austria", said a statement from the government of Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern, issued when the ban came into effect.

The laws were written in such a way to be religiously neutral, but that has led to widespread confusion in the German-speaking nation, adds the paper.

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