Netherlands: Gov't decides against general burka ban

The parliament voted in favor a general ban on burkas, the cabinet decided differently.

The Dutch cabinet has decided against a general ban on burqas, clothing that covers the whole face except for the eyes. Burqas will only be banned at schools and for government workers. The cabinet argues that a general ban would violate the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion.

Two years ago, Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders proposed the introduction of a ban on wearing burqas in public. The proposal led to widespread discussions and former integration minister Rita Verdonk drafted a bill, but a decision was never taken on legislation.

The conservative VVD and the Freedom Party have expressed disappointment at the cabinet decision. They back a general ban because they believe that clothing that covers the face causes unacceptable feelings of insecurity among the general public.

Source: Radio Netherlands (English)

See also: Netherlands: Petition against Burka-ban, Netherlands: What about the burqa ban?, Banning the burka in Holland, Netherlands: Stepping into the veil debate

No comments: