Saturday, November 18, 2006
Dutch to ban wearing of Muslim burqa in public
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government agreed on Friday a total ban on the wearing of burqas and other Muslim face veils in public, justifying the move on security grounds.
Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk will now draw up legislation which will result in the Netherlands, once one of Europe's most easy-going nations, imposing some of the continent's toughest laws against concealing the face.
France has banned the Muslim headscarf and other religious garb from state schools while discussion in Britain centres on limiting the full facial veil, or niqab.
Italy has a decades-old law against covering the face in public as an anti-terrorism measure. Some politicians have called for this rule to be enforced against veiled Muslim women.