May 22 2015
NETHERLANDS joins France and Belgium in banning full face-covering Muslim headbags, albeit a partial ban
It’s time the UK and US did the same. Dutch cabinet backs ban on Islamic veil in schools, hospitals and public transport in move Prime Minister Mark Rutte says has ‘nothing to do with religion.’ (But only the followers of one religion will object to it)
UK Daily Mail (h/t Susan K) Dutch Muslims could be fined up to almost £300 if caught wearing a burqa and niqab in certain places after The Hague backed the ban on Friday. It does not apply to anyone wearing one on the street but veils will not be allowed in schools, hospitals and public transport.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the government were only introducing the bill ‘in specific situations where it is essential for people to be seen’ or for security reasons. He added that it did not have any religious background but was to aid communication.
‘Face-covering clothing will in future not be accepted in education and healthcare institutions, government buildings and on public transport,’ the government said in a statement after the cabinet backed Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk’s bill.
Sadly, a previous bill from Rutte’s last government – which would have seen a full ban of the burqa even on the street – will now be withdrawn. The government said it ‘sees no reason for a general ban that would apply to all public places.’
France introduced a ban on women wearing the burqa in 2010, which was backed by the European Court of Human Rights last year. Judges rejected claims the ban breached religious freedom and said it encouraged citizens to ‘live together’. Under the ban, women caught wearing full-face veils in public spaces can be fined up to 150 euros.
Belgium brought in a similar ban in 2011 which declared both the burqa and niqab ‘incompatible’ with the rule of law. Now several other European countries appear to be considering introducing their own bans.