Vienna: Burqa bans are 'un-European', says OIC head

Vienna: Burqa bans are 'un-European', says OIC head

Bans on burqas are "very un-European," the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, said Thursday in Vienna, calling on Europeans to honour the values of tolerance and freedom.

Belgium's parliament approved a draft law banning the wearing of full-length veils last Thursday, while similar rules have been drafted in France and in a Swiss canton.

"We have been always listening and learning and reading that Europe is a continent of freedoms, not of bans," the Secretary General of the group of 57 Islamic countries said.

"This is very un-European in my understanding," he told the German Press Agency dpa.

Ihsanoglu was in Vienna to address a meeting of the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe.

The Turkish OIC head stressed that burqas are nothing Islamic but a traditional dress worn in some areas. "I personally don't like it," he said.

In his address to OSCE envoys, Ihsanoglu lamented that many Europeans consider Islam alien to European culture and society. "In fact, Islam was indigenous to Europe since the 8th century,"
he said, pointing to the Muslim presence on the Spanish peninsula.

Source: EarthTimes (English), h/t le blog laiciste

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