Beliefnet News

The Netherlands appears about to join France and Belgium in banning the public wearing of full-body veils.

Violators wearing the Muslim burqa or niqab will be fined U.S. $500 if proposed legislation is approved by the Dutch cabinet.

The need for the ban has been questioned since fewer than 100 women are thought to wear the veil in Holland, according to the British newspaper the Telegraph.

“The Dutch government will agree to introduce a ban on Friday making the Netherlands the third country in Europe to prohibit the burka, behind France and Belgium,” reported the Telegraph. The ban includes wearing the Muslim garb on the street, aboard public transport as well as in in schools or hospitals.

There will be exemptions for mosques and other religious buildings. Also exempt will be foreign women traveling through international Dutch airports.

Rather than singling out burqas and niqabs, the ban forbids anyone from wearing clothing covering the face — including ski masks, Palestinian balaclavas and even motorcycle helmets with opaque visors.


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