Hege Storhaug, HRS
Dersom mindretallsregjeringen i Nederland, støttet av Frihetspartiet, innfører forbud neste år, blir Nederland det andre landet i Europa som forbyr ansiktstildekning. I Belgia gikk planene om forbud i vasken grunnet ustabile politiske forhold (regjeringen måtte gå av i 2010, før senatet fikk stemme over forslaget som da var vedtatt av parlamentet).
Nederland synes å være svært nær et burkaforbud nå. På twitter sendte Geert Wilders nylig ut denne meldingen:
“Great news: burqa ban will finally come to the Netherlands! Proposal approved by ministers’ council. Excellent!”
Visestatsminster, Maxime Verhagen, bekrefter at forbud er underveis:
The ban will also apply to balaclavas and motorcycle helmets when worn in inappropriate places, such as inside a store, Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen told reporters, denying that this was a ban on religious clothing.
Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV), which helps give the Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition a majority in parliament, has set considerable political store on getting the so-called burqa ban passed into law.
Few Muslim women in the Netherlands wear the Arabic-style niqabs which leave the eyes uncovered and Afghan-style burqas that cover the face with a cloth grid. Academics estimate the numbers at between 100 and 400, whereas Muslim headscarves which leave the face exposed are far more common.
The coalition has agreed to submit a new law to parliament next week stipulating that offenders would be fined up to 390 euros ($510), the ministry said.
Verhagen said the ban was intended to ensure that a tradition of open communication cherished in Dutch society was upheld, and to prevent people from concealing their identity in order to do harm.
Wilders, who condemned Dutch Queen Beatrix for covering her hair with a scarf on a recent royal visit to the Middle East, said on Twitter: “Great news: burqa ban will finally come to the Netherlands! Proposal approved by ministers’ council. Excellent!”
Maurits Berger, professor of Islam in the contemporary West at Leiden University, said only a few hundred women wear the full face veil in the Netherlands.
“This is highly symbolic, it’s part of the deal made with PVV,” Berger said. “We are in the middle of a crisis. There are worse things to tackle.”
The face-veil law, which still needs to win approval in both houses of parliament, excludes clothing worn for security reasons such as that worn by firemen and hockey players, as well as party clothing such as Santa Claus or Halloween costumes.
The ban does not apply to religious places, such as churches and mosques, nor to passengers on airplanes or en route via a Dutch airport, the interior ministry said.