THE Dutch government has announced that it would seek a way of banning the wearing of burqas and other Muslim face veils in public places, possibly becoming the first European country to impose such a ruling.
The announcement comes at a time when the debate on such veils and whether they prevent Muslims from integrating has gathered momentum across Europe and drawn comments from leaders such as Britain’s Tony Blair and Italy’s Romano Prodi.
Needless to say, the Usual Suspects have their bloomers torqued:
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Dutch Muslim groups have complained a burqa ban would only make the country’s one million Muslims feel more victimised and alienated, regardless of whether they approve of burqas or not.
“What the government is doing now is totally disproportionate to the number of women who actually wear the burqa,” said Ayhan Tonca, chairman of an umbrella group of Dutch Muslim organisations.
“The legislation we already have to protect people for security reasons is adequate,” he added.
Hope, a Dutch-born Muslim, said she wore a niqab because she wanted to. “Nobody has the right to forbid it. If someone decides I cannot wear it then I will feel suppressed,” she said.
Yes, of course.
Strangely enough, the Dutch government doesn’t seem to mind if she feels suppressed. I wonder what made them change their minds?
And why does it feel like both the Netherlands and the U.S.A. have suddenly made 180º turns in public policy?
Hat tip: Brendan at the 910 Group.