Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Netherlands Bans Burka in Public Places | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hague- Dutch MPs on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to ban the Islamic full-face burka from some public places such as schools and hospitals. This way, Netherlands is the fourth country in the European Union (EU) to ban the full-face burka after France, Belgium and Bulgaria.

Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk suggested this ban because he considered that the burka hurdles communicating with others and identifying them. He also said that it is a normal thing for people to see each other in public places.

Muslim women can still wear the burka in streets but will be fined up to EUR400 if in public places. This law was faced with huge objection because “it contradicts with the freedom of religion,” as stated by the Council of State.

Pro-burka defended it, saying that it is a personal choice but is being banned for security necessity as claimed by the law makers.

The first government of Mark Rutte (2010-2012) submitted a draft to impose a ban on burka in public places but it wasn’t implemented because the government was toppled. During forming the government, parties agreed to present a new draft as a substitute to the old one.

In July 2014, the European Court of Human Rights approved banning the burka applied in France in 2010 then Belgium, Bulgaria and some Swiss regions.