Dutch cabinet decides against general burqa ban; banned at schools and for government workers only

The Hague – The Dutch cabinet has decided against a general ban on burqas, clothing that covers the whole face except for the eyes. Burqas will only be banned at schools and for government workers.

The cabinet argues that a general ban would violate the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion.

Two years ago, Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders proposed the introduction of a ban on wearing burqas in public.

The proposal led to widespread discussions and former integration minister Rita Verdonk drafted a bill, but a decision was never taken on legislation.

The conservative VVD and the Freedom Party have expressed disappointment at the cabinet decision.

They back a general ban because they believe that clothing that covers the face causes unacceptable feelings of insecurity among the general public.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Radio Netherlands, Netherlands
Jan. 22, 2008

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This post was last updated: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 11:42 AM, Central European Time (CET)