Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dutch ban the burka

Times Online The Netherlands is likely to become the first country in Europe to ban the burka, under government proposals that would bring in some of the toughest curbs on Muslim clothing in the world.

That should make the Islamofascists happy. We now know the next country to be bombed. I don't think they will stop with killing one filmmaker
The country’s hardline Integration Minister, Rita Verdonk, known as the Iron Lady for her series of tough anti-immigration measures, told Parliament that she was going to investigate where and when the burka should be banned. The burka, traditional clothing in some Islamic societies, covers a woman’s face and body, leaving only a strip of gauze for the eyes.

Mrs Verdonk gave warning that the “time of cosy tea-drinking” with Muslim groups had passed and that natives and immigrants should have the courage to be critical of each other. She recently cancelled a meeting with Muslim leaders who refused to shake her hand because she was a woman.
Glad to see they are doing something, but it might be better to do like the Brits and ban Imams that preach hatred.
The proposals are likely to win the support of Parliament because of the expected backing by right-wing parties. But they have caused outrage among Muslim and human rights groups, who say that the Government is pandering to the far Right. Mrs Verdonk admitted that a complete ban on the garment would be legally tricky because of freedom of religion legislation. However, she said that she would prohibit the garments “in specific situations” on grounds of public safety. The ban is likely to be enforced in shops, public buildings, cinemas, train and bus stations and airports, as well as on trains and buses.

The Netherlands has become preoccupied by Islamic terrorism after the investigation into the murder of the film-maker Theo van Gogh uncovered a network of Muslim extremists dedicated to destroying the country. Attention has turned to the burka because police authorities have become concerned that a terrorist could use one for concealment. A government spokesman said: “We want to investigate when, how, in which places the burka should be banned. It is a safety measure — you don’t see who is in it.” The Government cites as a precedent existing football legislation, which bans people from entering football grounds covering their faces in scarves.

Yassim Hertog, a vice-president of the Muslim School Boards Union, said: “Can you prohibit someone from wearing a certain type of dress? They are trying to test what a government can forbid, and how far you can go trampling on people’s rights. They want to show all these Dutch citizens who are sick and tired of all these ‘mutant’ citizens, this is where we draw the line — get normal.” Muslim groups insist that only a few dozen women in the Netherlands wear the burka, and that the ban is a distraction. The Muslims and Government Contact Body said: “Only a handful of Muslims actually wear burkas. Let us focus our energy on what we have in common. This is not a big problem.”

Damian blogged I'm all in favor of encouraging Muslim women to cast off this medieval symbol of oppression, but I also firmly believe the state has no business telling me what I can and can't wear. That's why stories like this (which always seem to come from tolerant Europe, not right-wing neocon Amerikkka, by the way) leave me feeling somewhat uneasy

Harry blogged The Netherlands would become the first European country to ban the wearing of the burka in public situations, although there are already some local bans. Last year several Belgian towns, including Antwerp and Ghent, banned the wearing of the burka in public, and recently started issuing £100 spot fines for breaking the municipal ordinance. Several towns in Italy, including Como, have invoked legislation introduced by Mussolini that bans hiding one’s face in public to impose fines on burka-wearers. France and several regions of Germany have followed Turkey and Tunisia in banning the wearing of the hijab, which leaves the face visible, in public buildings, most controversially in schools.

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