Islam Watch: Dutch Muslims Say Proposed Burqa Ban a Violation of Freedom of Religion


An Afghan woman clad in a burqa chooses a sheep’s head at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 13, 2006.

AFP: Dutch Muslims hit out at proposed burqa ban

Dutch Muslims have hit out at a proposed government ban of face veils, saying it was over the top, ill-conceived and infringed religious rights.

On Friday the Dutch cabinet said it was proposing a bill banning clothing that covers the face in public, targeting in particular Muslim woman wearing the burqa or niqab.

The burqa is an Islamic veil covering the entire face and body and a mesh screen to see through, while the niqab is a veil covering the face but leaving the eye area clear. The garments are worn by a few dozen women in the Netherlands.

Rita Verdonk, minister of immigration and integration, said the bill proposed a ban on the basis that covering the face constituted a risk to public order and safety.

The ban would be imposed in public and “semi-public” places such as schools, courts, ministries and trains, her spokesman Martin Bruinsma told AFP.

“In this country, we want to be able to see each other. The ban is a question of security,” daily De Telegraaf quoted on Saturday the minister as saying.


This is more of a question of compensating for failed Dutch immigration policies and the failure of Muslims in Holland to assimilate. Security sounds like an excuse to Flap.

But representatives of the country’s Muslim population were unimpressed.

“They are going to have to find a better argument than security. It is an infringement on the freedom of religion,” said Ahmed Markouch, a Moroccan mosques representative.

He predicted that the bill would go down badly with the country’s sizeable Muslim population, “because it comes from Verdonk, not because they are in favour of the burqa.”

Green Party lawmaker Mustapha Laboui, who is of Moroccan origin, said that although he believed the wearing of the burqa in Dutch society was “not logical”, he was sceptical as to the bill’s legality.

And Ayhan Tonca from the CMO, a group representing Muslims, said that such a law would be “useless”.

“The existing laws are sufficient for dealing with the problems. It’s over the top, a law for a dozen people!,” Tonca told AFP.

As in many European countries, the integration of immigrants is a hot topic in the Netherlands, and the bill comes just days before legislative elections.

This is definitely a political ploy before legislative elections. But, doesn’t the host country have a responsibility to assure assimilation of immigrants?

Holland should also consider what their population demographics and social welfare state have to do with their “Muslim” problem.

Stay tuned…….



Islam Watch: Dutch Government Supports BAN on Burqa

Jack Straw MP Watch: Rushdie – “Veils – A Way to Take Power From Women”

Jack Straw MP Watch: Veiled Threat?


  • David

    I’m sure you’re right that the proposed ban is motivated to some extent by electioneering. It’s also motivated by fear of Islam (Islamophobia, in that sense) associated with terrorism: you could say radical Islam is the object of the actual terror in the War on Terror. The suggestion that the proposed law – at least with respect to the burqa and niqab – is dealing with a real security issue is ridiculous given the very small number of women who wear those garments in the Netherlands. I see it as an expression of radical liberalism acting in an illiberal way towards those seen as fundamentally opposed to it – and hence, undermining true liberalism (see my blog of 18 November).

  • Amir Normandi

    I believe this is time for those that value progressive and brave thinkers in the public positions to declare that they are Dutch and they stand with Ms. Rita Verdonk.

    The attire of worship can be worn in the houses of worship if it is matter of faith.

    The gender specific dress code which primarily is dictated through religious instructions is nothing but tools for male domination.

    To the young Muslim women that adamantly use their energy opposing ban of Hejab. Please use your power and energy to fight for full human right for the women of your ancestral birth land.

    Start a grass root petition to demand all discriminatory laws against women to be abolished in your foremothers land. Grab a page from your sisters’ struggle for equal rights elsewhere in Islamic world.