Aug 4 2011
Keeping bagheads off the streets is a good first step which should be followed by banning Islam altogether. So, why isn’t the U.S. banning the burqa, too?
UK DAILY MAIL –Italy is set to be the next European Union to introduce a burkha ban after parliament announced today it would debate legislation after the summer recess. France and Belgium already have bans in place and the proposal has the backing of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling centre right coalition.
Italy’s Constitutional Affairs Committee said that the bill which was initially suggested by the anti-immigration Northern League would be debated following the summer recess in September.
Berlusconi’s has a healthy majority in both the upper and lower houses of the Italian parliament and a ban is highly likely to go through when it comes to an eventual vote.
The draft law, which makes no mention of religion, would also ban the niqab, which covers the bottom part of the face only, and other head-covering garments ‘of ethnic origin’. Committee members agreed to the proposal going before the house after a vote which was opposed by the opposition Democratic Left – with other opposition parties abstaining.
The penalty being considered for offenders will be a fine of between 150 and 300 euros or alternatively some kind of community service ‘aimed at encouraging integration’. Officials said that the legislation would also take into account people who ‘force someone to wear a burkha or face veil using either physical or psychological violence’. This offence would be punished more severely with a year in prison and a 30,000-euro fine.
There have been incidents, especially in northern Italian cities such as Milan and Verona, where women wearing it have been asked to remove at least the face veil. The Northern League’s proposal aims at amending a 1975 law, introduced amid concern over domestic terrorism, which bans anyone wearing anything which makes their identification impossible.
Last year Amel Marmouri, 26, was stopped by carabinieri officers in a spot check outside a post office in Novara in northern Italy and given a 500 euro (£431) fine for wearing clothing which made her ‘not immediately identifiable’.
A recent survey found that 73 per cent of Italians thought Islamic face coverings should not be worn in public, with a third saying they felt such veils were a degrading practice imposed on women by others.