Belgium: Requirements for a veil in ID photo

Muslim women are allowed to wear a veil for their ID photos, but what about non-Muslims? There should be clear directives. If a person always wears a veil/hat, then there is no reason to force them to take it off for a photo.

In the case of cancer patients - once she gets healthy, she will grow her hair back and will look markedly different in any case.

Noëlla Orban, a 15 year old from Beveren, suffers from an aggressive form of brain cancer and is bald due due to the treatments she's been getting.

She now has to take out ID. She had turned to the Belgian authorities to allow her to use a photo of her wearing a bandana or hat for her Belgian ID, but was refused.

The teenager feels humiliated, especially as the ID would be valid till 2012. According to her mother a worker for the population register told her that only religious Muslim women are allowed to wear a veil for their ID picture.

The population register says this is all a misunderstanding. In the future, should Noëlla want an ID with another photo they will gladly give it to her, free of charge. Additionally, religious Muslim women must also get a written declaration from their religious authority stating that they need to wear a veil for their ID photo.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

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