People wearing burqas, balaclavas or all-in-one motorbike helmets in public in the Netherlands will soon face fines. On Friday, government ministers voted to outlaw all clothing which covers the face.
“People must be able to look each other in the face and be recognisable to one another. The wearing of face-covering clothing does not fit in with the Netherlands’ open society, in which participation in social traffic is actually crucial,” the cabinet said Friday.
A law has come into force in Belgium banning women from wearing the full Islamic veil in public.
As of Saturday, any woman wearing the face-covering burqa or niqab
in public risks a fine of 137 euros ($197) or up to seven days in jail.
Two Muslim women wearing full face veils have been arrested within hours of France’s burka ban becoming a law
, as they were taking part in a demonstration against the new measure in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris
A law banning the wearing of garments that cover the face in public has today come into force in France — the first European country to impose such a ban. Penalties for forcing a person to wear a burqa are part of the law.
The ban is seen as primarily affecting Muslim women who wear the niqab or burqa.
Hundreds of girls are bring forced by British schools to wear the Islamic veil
in a move which has been heavily criticised by mainstream Muslims.
Islamic schools have introduced uniform policies which force girls to wear the burka or a full headscarf and veil known as the niqab.
Moderate followers of Islam said yesterday that enforcement of the veil was a “dangerous precedent” and that children attending such schools were being “brainwashed
The French parliament passed a law Tuesday prohibiting wearing a full-face veil
in public, meaning a ban will come into force early next year if it is not overturned by senior judges.
The Senate passed the bill by 246 votes to one. The bill already cleared the lower house in July, and will now be reviewed by the Constitutional Council, which has a month to confirm its legality.
On July 13, members of the lower house of the French parliament are expected to vote on a bill that would make it illegal
women to wear full veils
— those that cover all of the face except the eyes — in public places.
Majorities in Germany (71%), Britain (62%) and Spain (59%) would also support a similar ban in their own countries. In contrast, most Americans would oppose such a measure; 65% say they would disapprove of a ban on Muslim women wearing full veils in public places compared with 28% who say they would approve.
In a significant escalation of Spain’s debate over how to handle radical Islam
, the Senate on Wednesday narrowly and unexpectedly approved a motion to ban Muslim women from wearing in public the burqa
or other garments that cover the whole body.
The Spanish vote comes amid several national initiatives across Europe
to restrict the spread of radical Islam and defend liberal values.
Spain’s government plans to ban the use of the Islamic burqa in public places under a proposed new law on religious freedom, the justice minister said Tuesday.
“We believe that there are things like the burqa which are hard to reconcile with human dignity and which especially pose problems of identification in public places,” Francisco Caamano told reporters.
Barcelona plans to be the first large city in Spain to ban the use of the full-face Islamic veil in public buildings, its mayor announced Monday.
Jordi Hereu said he will sign a decree which will apply in all public spaces such as the city hall and municipal covered markets and creches.
The French government decided Wednesday to impose a $185 fine on women who wear a full-face Islamic veil in public, pushing ahead with a controversial ban despite signs of tension between France’s Muslims and the Christian-tradition majority.
President Nicolas Sarkozy said his government was forwarding the legislation to parliament because it had a “moral responsibility” to uphold traditional European values in the face of an increasingly visible Muslim population, estimated at more than 5 million, the largest in Western Europe.
The French parliament unanimously approved a resolution that would declare the full facial veil known as a burqa
as an affront to French values, paving the way for a full-fledged ban on the garment worn by a small minority of French Muslim women.
If the bill becomes law, France would be the second country in Europe after Belgium to prohibit the wearing of the full veil in public.
Italian police fined a woman $665 for wearing an Islamic face veil
, the first punishment of its kind in Italy but the latest in a wave of sanctions against the niqab in Europe.
Representatives of the Islamic community in Italy warned that the issue was a delicate one, but agreed that police in Novara were simply following the rules and said the issue was not a religious one.
A Muslim butcher who could be stripped of his French passport over allegations of polygamy
hit back on Monday, insisting that he had not broken the law.
Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born 35-year-old, has been at the centre of a political storm since last week when his wife complained that she had been fined for driving while wearing her “niqab” full-face veil
The case of a French Muslim woman fined for driving while wearing a full-face veil — a garment the government wants to ban in public — raised a furore Friday over human rights and led a minister to challenge her husband’s status in France.
The Nantes incident took on another political dimension when France’s interior minister, Brice Hortefeux, wrote to ask his colleague Eric Besson in immigration to look into the woman’s husband, who he alleged may belong to a radical group and may be a polygamist with four wives and 12 children.
Anxieties that visible signs of Islam erode national identity are combining with complaints that immigrants are stealing jobs amid the worst economic slump in decades to deepen a sense of unease in many European countries, small and large alike, over the role of Muslims in society. Threats
against cartoonists and artists
over depictions of the prophet Muhammad have also raised fears that Islam is not compatible with Western values of freedom of speech.
The latest round in the battle of the burqa kicks off Thursday in Belgium, which could become the first country in Europe to ban face coverings worn by observant Muslim women.
Lawmakers are considering a ban in all public places on niqabs, veils that cover the face, as well as burqas, which cover the face and everything else from head to toe.
The French government is drawing up a law to ban Muslim women from wearing a full-face veil in public, despite advice that it could be illegal.
The new law will stop the niqab and the burka
from being worn in the streets, shops and markets and not just in public buildings.