Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dutch to Impose Burqa Ban, Seething to Follow

Those zany Dutchmen are really getting insensitive now, daring to free women from the oppression of having to dress up in a hefty bag in schools and government buildings.

Next thing you know, they'll insist the peaceful practitioners of Islam stop treating their women as chattel and they'll ban them outright, but that might offend the delicate sensibilities of the 7th century cavemen.
The Dutch government is set to impose a ban on the Muslim burqa in schools and government offices, media reported on Wednesday, in a retreat from the previous cabinet's plan for a general ban.

The cabinet has decided against a broad ban on burqas in public as that would violate the principle of freedom of religion, news agency ANP said, citing unnamed cabinet sources.

The Muslim community says only about 50 women wear the head-to-toe burqa or the niqab, a face veil that conceals everything but the eyes. They said a general ban would heighten alienation among the country's about 1 million Muslims.

An interior ministry spokesman said there was no final decision on the subject yet and the issue is expected to be discussed at the weekly cabinet meeting on Friday next week.

The wearing of headscarves in schools and at work is a sensitive topic across the European Union.

France, with Europe's largest Muslim minority, bans headscarves and other religious garb from state schools. Italy has a decades-old law against covering the face in public as an anti-terrorism measure.

Shortly before being voted out of office, the previous centre-right Dutch government proposed a complete ban on burqas and other Muslim face-veils in public, citing security concerns.

A new centrist coalition government of Christian Democrats, Labour and the Christian Union came into power in February 2007 and has taken a more conciliatory line on immigration.

Right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders -- who has angered Muslims with his fierce criticism of Islam -- sent a bill to parliament last July proposing a ban on the burqa in public.
Curious, isn't it, how we never read anything about the delicate sensibilities of religious minorities in Muslim countries.

Double standard, anyone?

Speaking of Wilders, here are some trailers for his new movie that we noted last week.

Here is Part 2:

Nothing like a jolt of reality.

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