Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PRESS

‘NRA’s Answer to Guns: More Guns’

Read more

FOCUS

'It's a jungle': Living on the street in the City of Light

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#BringBackOurGirls - anger and a sense of déjà vu

Read more

FOCUS

Italy helps integrate asylum seekers through training

Read more

THE DEBATE

Boko Haram Kidnappings: Can Nigerian schoolgirls be protected?

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Brand Trump: Has the US president damaged his company's reputation?

Read more

ENCORE!

Oscars sneak peek: 'Call Me By Your Name', 'I, Tonya' and 'Darkest Hour'

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Are the French rude, or is it a big misunderstanding?

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Gun control in the US: A glimmer of compromise?

Read more

Europe

Dutch parliament approves partial ban on full-face veils

© AFP PHOTO / ANP PHOTO / Filer Jerry Lampen | A woman wearing a burqa walks in The Hague on December 1, 2014.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-11-29

The Dutch parliament voted on Tuesday to ban face veils in some public places, a law the government said was essential for security but which opponents said pandered to anti-Muslim sentiment.

The law, passed by the lower house but still requiring the senate's approval, bans veils and other items that hide the face such as ski masks and helmets, in places where identifying the wearer is considered essential, including government buildings, public transport, schools and hospitals.

Few women in the Netherlands wear face veils, but a ban has long been a demand of Geert Wilders' anti-Islam opposition Freedom Party which is leading in polls ahead of elections in March.

Full and partial face veils such as burqas and niqabs divide opinion in Europe, setting religious freedom advocates against secularists and those who say that the garments are culturally alien or a symbol of the oppression of women.

France and Belgium have completely banned wearing face veils in public and some other European countries have local or regional restrictions. Violating the Dutch law would incur a fine of 405 euros ($430).

"Everyone has the right to dress as he or she wishes," the government said in a statement announcing the law.

"That freedom is limited only where it is essential for people to see each other, for example to ensure good service or security."

Opponents of the law have accused center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte of pandering to the anti-Muslim vote in a bid not to be outflanked by Wilders.

Long seen as one of Europe's most tolerant countries, the Netherlands has seen racial tensions mount since the turn of the century, with the 2006 murder of controversial film-maker Theo van Gogh by an Islamist militant widely considered a turning point.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-11-29

  • GERMANY

    German conservatives call for partial burqa ban

    Read more

  • FRANCE - MUSLIM VEIL

    European rights court upholds French 'burqa ban'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's burkini row sets tone for presidential primaries

    Read more

COMMENT(S)