Friday, January 27, 2012

Cabinet in the Netherlands Votes to Ban Burkas; Women Wearing Them to Be Subject to a $503 Fine

The cabinet of the Netherlands voted today (January 27, 2012) to ban the burkas and other face-covering garments from public places. Once the legislation is passed in parliament -- where it has a majority of votes for passage -- the Netherlands will become the third country in Europe to ban the Islamic garment, after France and Belgium.

The ban will apply to people wearing balaclavas and full-frontal motorbike helmets on the street as well as the estimated 100 burka wearers in the Netherlands.

Women wearing a burka or a full veil will be subject to a fine of 380 euros ($503).

Liesbeth Spies -- Dutch home affairs minister -- said after the cabinet vote today it is of "immense importance" that burkas are banned. She added people in an open society should communicate with each other openly.