Associate Editor

A man wearing a shark costume in Austria was fined under the country’s new “burqa ban.” Photo: Facebook/ McShark


The Inertia

Compared to other nations, Austria rates fairly low on the whimsy scale. And it’s instances like these that show precisely why. According to Newsweek, a little over a week since Austria rolled out a controversial “burqa ban,” one of the first to be found in violation was a man dressed as a shark to promote an electronics store.

When told to remove his shark head, the man refused saying, “I’m just doing my job.” Although he ultimately removed it, he was slapped with a 150 euro fine. No chill.

According to Newsweek, the new legislation isn’t explicitly a ban on burqas – that would be discriminatory. Instead, Austrians are no longer legally allowed to cover their faces or else be fined. The law also includes face coverings, and even scarves, according to Die Welt. This has led confusion like the situation with the man in the shark costume.

“I wasn’t aware that the law reaches that far that it also affects mascots,” Eugen Prosquill from the advertising agency that hired the man told Austria’s Heute.

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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.



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