Dutch Cabinet Backs Partial Burqa Ban

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

170px-Burqa_Afghanistan_01The Dutch Cabinet voted to draft a bill to enforce a ban on wearing the Islamic burqa in various government buildings and institution. Citing what were described as security concerns, the government in a statement declared “Face-covering clothing will in [the] future not be accepted in education and healthcare institutions, government buildings and on public transport.”

Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated to journalists: “The bill does not have any religious background.”

The government’s statement further stated that it “tried to find a balance between people’s freedom to wear the clothes they want and the importance of mutual and recognizable communication.” It will however send the draft bill to the Council of State, the highest constitutional court, for review. Thereafter, Parliament will debate the bill and mull drafting statutory law.

A previous bill calling for a complete ban of the burqa in public places was set aside.

Those held in violation could be fined up to €405.

Likely an influencing factor, France legislated a burqa ban in 2010 which was ultimately upheld by the European Court of Human Rights. The court rejected claims the law breached religious freedom. Switzerland and Belgium passed similar statutes.

Dutch state broadcasting company NOS claimed that only one hundred to five hundred women in The Netherlands wore burqas with most only occasionally.

It would be curious to see how such a ban will be enforced. Security matters aside what would serve as a legitimate government function of requiring faces to be shown in government buildings or other institutions?

Yet the debate tends to focus on religious freedom. An interesting constitutional challenge, if such an issue comes to the forefront in the United States, would be an aggrieved person claiming a right to privacy. Those choosing to wear a burqa often cite modesty as a significant factor. To some it might seem disingenuous to under penalty of arrest require in people to wear undergarments in public for the purpose of legislated modesty and then deny modesty to those who wish to cover other body parts.

Nevertheless with the European example, it is hard to accept that such laws are drafted out of anything other than worry of Islam in those nations.

By Darren Smith

Source: MSN

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

96 thoughts on “Dutch Cabinet Backs Partial Burqa Ban”

  1. Religion of any ilk is no problem until it is mixed, or driven by, politics. That us the difference…no matter the faith involved.

  2. These laws are clearly a front to discriminate against minorities. Again, civil liberties seems only to be a principle when certain persons are involved here…

    Should bikers not be able to wear jackets that manifest an affiliation to a gang due to potential violence?

    1. TJustice – bikers have their faces exposed for identification. If you saw any of the photos from Waco after the motorcycle gangs collided you can clearly see that you could easily identify each of the bikers.

  3. Stop dressing like gay ninjas, and stay the hell off my acreage. It’s common decency.

  4. Tyger Gilbert,

    “It’s nice that something is finally being done to at least partially restrict the use of burqas, a product of religious insanity.”


    1.57 billion

    Islam by country. World Muslim population by percentage (Pew Research Center, 2014). Muslims constitute the world’s second largest religious group. According to a 2010 study and released January 2011, Islam has 1.57 billion adherents, making up over 23% of the world population.


    I’m just parroting stats but I think you’re out numbered.

    The planet/universe began with nothingness. Axioms are innate – Axioms tell you – you don’t tell axioms. Your judgments appear arbitrary and without a rational basis. Was there “burqa” law before the planet was formed?

    Did your “God” put a Jesusa or a Jesus. Was your God a sexist when he made males primary and a females secondary. Does your “Good Book” start with Eve and Adam?

    How do you prove that the use of “burqas” is “insanity?” How do you establish that “religious” is defined by “insanity?”

    In all of the universe, how do you and you alone know what is right and what is wrong?

    Are you a dictator? That’s it. You and your friends are dictators. Am I right?

    “Political power grows out of the barrel of the gun…”
    ― Mao Tse-tung

  5. There are many facets to this issue of religious expression. Freedom of an individual to express their religion should be subservient to the laws of the land. If the land is Saudi Arabia then, regardless of how backward, chauvinistic, or oppressive it is, it is their country.

    In Western and more advanced societies where religion has been placed or is being placed in its proper place, between the believer and his or her belief and not spread all over the place/in your face, the sight of characters covered in sheets can be anything from amusing to alarming. Back in the 70s when I often visited Great Britain, one would tool around London and see women-or at least that’s what one assumed, out and about shopping, carrying bags from Harrods, Burberrys, and other high end establishments, in groups, each one a floating sheet like something from a Halloween party. Men in Arab dress walked together oblivious of where they were. The kids drove white BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, and Rolls Royces customized with gold accents and sometimes lowered a la the hot rod. The whole scene appeared to me to be an example of mindless wealth and somewhat of a circus. The Arab wealth in London was only irritating because it was not mine and it was expressed in such a tasteless manner.

    This was all before the Islamic extremists started slaughtering each other and the innocent, before Lebanon, before 9/11, etc. Now when you see a person cruising around the shopping center in a sheet, it conjures up much more than humor and derision, much more enjoyable perceptions even if they are somewhat distasteful themselves.

  6. So, BettyKath, your solution in my example leaves both sides offended at the other. If laws are then written to prevent offensive behavior, which woman gets penalized? In most places in America, the Ferengi would be arrested and fined and/or jailed for going naked in public, while the Muslim would be free to cover her entire body in public. How can this be fair and just?

  7. Some people should be required to wear face masks. Mitch McConnell comes to mind. I am curious as to where the words “hill billy” come frm. Is it a reference to a billy goat on top of a hill? People in New Orleans refer to McConnell as a hill billy. Why is that?

  8. Randyjet …about that 6 foot plus tall remark: I was joking. 🙂

    None-the-less you’d be surprised how many are taller than me where I live and I am 6 feet tall. My neighbor has an absolutely stunning daughter, who wears only the hijab, and she is as tall as I am…but the feet are not masculine in size or shape. I stated earlier here my concern for the community if too many fully covered women become predominant (they are a very small minority now) and that is abuse by their own people. So, I get your point about masking per se. In the past it caused an ugly fight, with several of us, with a lunatic across the street who went out of his way to abuse women and young girls that did not meet his “rules”…went to criminal court for battery, and all that, because the punk filed charges after he got his butt kicked. Thankfully, he moved away and his brood with him…which we all wondered about anyway because he had several “daughters” in his home and they all got pregnant, but no other men were ever seen around. The whole street came outside and cheered when his moving van showed up….and I was the only non-Muslim among those cheering.

    1. I think the no burqa rule is great to deal with crooks like your former neighbor. I lived in Turkey for a couple of years thanks to the USAF, and became an admirer of Ataturk and his efforts to destroy Islam there. One of the first things his government did was to make it illegal for women to wear the veil or a burqa and the hijab is still outlawed in public buildings there, though for how much longer is anybody’s guess.

  9. Shelly you said …

    How can anyone trust a religion that says its OK to lie at any cost to non-believers …

    Point taken, however, living among them, it isn’t the religion I trust, it is the people I’ve come to know. Character shows in places religion doesn’t tread at times.

  10. Trooper York … I agree with your interpretation of religious freedom. My concern when I see an increase in fully covered females is that sooner or later some of their men will become hostile to those women who do not fully cover. As I said in my very Muslim neighborhood most women wear only a head covering, no veil, and sometimes the older ones wear a chador. We’ve had to deal with a fanatic across the street from me who was abusing women who did not meet his rules for faithful observance. So long as that random vigilantism doesn’t re-occur, I’m fine with what ever some one wears. If some women here are free to wear the niqab, so be it, but that means that those who chose not to do so also free to do that. I make an exception for 6 foot plus tall folks with big feet being masked. 😀

    1. Ari, While I agree with you on many things, you must know that not many men from that part of the world are six feet tall. So I have to disagree with letting any person go around hiding their face in public with exceptions of course for Halloween or other temporary things. I am all in favor of letting folks wear a burqa on Halloween all day too. Other days, negative.

  11. Bob L – you are required to identify yourself to police in all states, if asked. You do not have to use a driver’s license, if you are not driving.

  12. How can anyone trust a religion that says its OK to lie at any cost to non-believers in order to further their prophet (in this case, Mohammed)?

  13. Tyger, they both do. If you’re Muslim, cover up. If you’re Ferengi, take it off.

  14. So, this is to all the “You Gotta Respect Everyone’s Religion” folks here: What do you do in the public community environment when two religious beliefs are opposite and conflict? For example: Women must be completely covered by some form of clothing (Muslim), and women may wear no clothes at all (Ferengi)? Whose beliefs get to prevail?

  15. I defer to your knowledge Ari but it is true that religious fashions change over time. They morph and change as various sects develop. So what is not required in some sects is vital in another.

    I don’t feel I am the person to make that decision for someone else’s religious practices. I believe in full unfettered religious freedom.

    Sometimes you have accept other peoples religious practices as unseemly as they might be. Have you ever been on the subway when a sweaty Orthodox guy hasn’t showered in a couple of days? Do you know what a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks smell like in the heat of the sun when you are scoring some ganja on the Coney Island Boardwalk? It’s not pretty let me tell you. We all have to make allowances for each other’s religion.

    I think the security issue is overblown. Obviously if someone is wearing a burka than you need to pay special attention to them and their actions. Profile them. Follow them. Stare at them. Be ready to draw down on them and Freddy Grey them at a moments notice. But don’t infringe on their religious practices.

    We can not sacrifice liberty to security.

  16. Perception is everything; if it’s Christmas season, and one is dressed as Santa, that’s not threatening, ’cause everybody knows Santa’s a good guy. Spiderman, Batman etc. characters in times Square are not threatening, unless you’re a bad guy, right? Cops in full riot gear. carrying automatics, and hidden behind face shields with dark visors are OK, because they don’t threaten, right?
    Look, I’m just saying, the world is going nuts, freedom is going away, and so many of you seem to support that, but not in those words, but in those deeds.
    And, you would shoot me for wearing a mask? really, now that’s civilized.

  17. Trooper York .. I have no issues with come Muslim women choosing to be covered by niqab or burqua on a general basis in public. In a facility such as government facility or a bank, nope, that’s a no go. First of all, because the niquab or burqua long predates Islam and thus is not a representation of religion per se. It is an adopted facet and not necessary for religious reasons. That said by some one who lives among Muslims. Very few adhere to the dictum of either item.

  18. Why are so many here afraid of the anonymity of others?

    There is a difference between being anonymous and being unidentifiable. You are anonymous to me if I see you in the street, at the store, at a bar, standing in line at Starbucks if I don’t know who you are. You are anonymous to me and will likely remain that way.

    Because I can see you, however, and note that you may have red hair, freckles are a man. Or that you are a female with bad acne scars who doesn’t wash her hair very often. I can deduce all sorts of things about a person by what they look like, what sort of facial expressions they have, how they meet or won’t meet my eyes. Are you sneaking around?. Glaring at me? Smiling at me?

    By these things I can identify you, get a sense of who you might be and maybe even pick you out of a police lineup if needed. You are still anonymous to me but identifiable. When you are wearing a mask and even covering that hide your entire body, including hands, I have no way to identify you.

    Making these observations is instinctual. It is also a survival mechanism that every person has, all anthropoids have and many other animals have.

    Again. This isn’t religious. They didn’t specify or single out burqas. This law is based on not hiding or covering your face in public with anything.

    If you are hiding from me, covering your face, I do not trust you and do not feel safe. This is instinctual. And like Randyjet if you are approaching me, I’m likely to take action and shoot you.

  19. Randyjet,
    The nuns who taught me definitely covered their faces with their veils when they were out in public; of course, they were catholic, so no problem, right? Also, in my state, there is no legislation prohibiting wearing masks in public. Your deference to the sagacity of Scotus rulings will also apply to the Citizen’s United case.

    1. Sorry Bob, but I never saw a nun with a veil that made it impossible to see her face. If they do try that, they deserve the SAME treatment as Muslim burqas. I am more than happy to give any person who tries to hide their ID equal treatment.

    2. Bob L – I have never heard of an order of nuns that veiled their faces in public. Please give us the name of the order that taught you.

  20. Tyork, as a leftist, I sure as hell do not want to allow any person to go around with masks or burqas on. As an airline captain, I protested against allowing Sikhs on board my aircraft after 9/11 because I knew that they carried KNIVES on their person while I as an airline captain was not allowed even a nail clipper! Then while I had to do a strip search in full uniform with three IDs hanging off of me, take my coat off, take my belt off, take my hat off,,take my shoes off, and then take off my IDs because they had metal clips and for good measure take out my wallet. and most contents of my pockets. Yet Sikhs were allowed to pass through with their turbans unscreened! I objected and the gate agents went into panic mode when I asked for secondary screening. The manager came down with a memo stating that Sikhs were a protected class and did not have to take off their knives, called kirpans. I asked if I could have that memo or have a copy, and was told NO! I then went to the TSA and asked for the same memo that they had and I got one. I could have refused them boarding, but since I know that Sikhs hate Muslims and they have been killing each other for centuries, I felt that they would not be a real threat and would cut the throat of any person who said ALLAH. I did object to the protected status for NO GOOD reason and their superior rights to mine.

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