Austria’s left-leaning president Alexander Van Der Bellen has suggested all women must one day wear headscarves to combat Islamophobia.
The green-backed independent triumphed over his populist right-wing rival Norbert Hofer in December after an unprecedented repeat vote.
His comments come after the Austrian government banned the full-face veil in public spaces in January, as part of an attempt to counter the rise of the far-right Freedom Party.
During a talk to students Mr Van der Bellen suggested all women should wear a headscarf in solidarity with Muslims.
See the video here:
Speaking at The House of the European Union in Vienna, he said: ‘It is the right of a woman – do men wear headscarves too? – to dress herself however she wants. That is my opinion about it.
‘Besides that, not only Muslim women. Every woman can wear a headscarf. And if it goes on – and I am already on the next question – with actual rampant Islamophobia, the day will come that we must ask all women to wear a headscarf.
‘All out of solidarity with those who have to on religious grounds.’
Austria banned the burqa, niqab and other face-covering veils earlier this year.