Netherlands: Wilders proposes headscarf tax

Netherlands: Wilders proposes headscarf tax

Geert Wilders wants to introduce a 'headscarf tax'. Whoever wants to wear a headscarf will have to apply for a permit and pay 1,000 euro a year, he proposed on Wednesday.

The PVV leader called his tax a 'head rags tax'. According to him the mosques, headscarves and Muslim men with beards and long dresses pollute the cityscape. "Here it also applies: the polluter pays".

Moreover, according to Wilders the headscarf is a symbol of lack of freedom and the oppression of women. He would therefore like the proceeds from the tax to go to women's shelters.

His proposal for a tax on headscarves ran into a lot of opposition in the Dutch parliament. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold spoke of an embarrassing display and accused Wilders of xenophobic and racist statements against Muslims.

"You want a headscarf police. I think that's so ridiculous," says SP leader Agnes Kant. Fraction chairman Arie Slob of the Christian Union points out to Wilders he was treating people with contempt because of external features. "You can insult women very well," says PvdA fraction leader Mariƫtte Hamer.

"Will you sell your principles for a thousand euros?" asked CDA fraction chairman Pieter van Geel. GreenLeft leader Femke Halsema said Wilders was using "Iranian methods". "What you want introduces a morality police. Shame on you."

But Wilders called it a 'very serious and well thought out proposal". "You're putting on a cabaret show," says Pechtold, who referred to a serious of votes of no confidence that the PVV held against the whole cabinet and that debate where nine PVV parliament members suddenly left earlier this year. Pechtold: "What are you still doing here? You're not interested in the answer of the government. Get up and go with those nine."

Source: Parool (Dutch)

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