Banning the burqa

The Dutch Islam debate may have seem to be calmed down a little during the last year, every now and then the same old themes come back again such as the Row over Dutch Muslim ministers with dual nationality.

Another issue the already came up last year and has sparked some debate again is the burqa-issue. Twice already, a majority in parlaiment has urged the cabinet arrange a complete ban on wearing burqas in public. According to the newly appointed social-democratic minister of integration, Ella Vogelaar, argued however that women should be allowed to wear burqas in some circumstances, for instance on the streets. She thinks it is desirable if women with burqa’s were working in public functions or jobs in which human contact was important.

Christian democrat CDA MPs Mirjam Sterk and Wim van de Camp have asked the minister to explain what steps she will take to stop the wearing of veils and other concealing clothing in the situations she deems unadvisable.
According to PVV-leader Geert Wilders the proposed ban does not  only apply at work but also on the streets. Wilders hopes to work with coalition party CDA and opposition party Liberal VVD in preparing the bill. Both these parties have supported Wilders’ motions so far towards banning the wearing of burqas in public. The new coalition parties Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie have opposed the motions. The coalition accord however does not state that such a ban will be introduced.

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