Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google Plus Tell a Friend
Home| Columns| Features| International| In Dutch| Dictionary| What's On| Jobs| Housing| Expats| Blogs| Books
««« previousnext »»»

Cabinet backs the burka ban

Friday 27 January 2012

The cabinet on Friday voted to ban burkas and other face-covering garments from public places. Once the legislation has passed through parliament, 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 face a fine of €380.

Home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies said after the cabinet vote it is of 'immense importance' that burkas are banned. People in an open society should communicate with each other openly, she told reporters on Friday afternoon.

It is not yet clear when the draft legislation will be submitted to parliament and when it will come into effect. The ban forms part of the agreement between the minority cabinet and the anti-Islam PVV so the bill can be assured of at least a majority of one.


Dutch Turkish association Inspraakorgaan Turken in Nederland said the government had not thought through the effect of the ban properly. 'Women who only dared or were allowed to leave their homes in a burka will not stay at home,' the organisation's chairman Aydin Akkaya told news agency ANP.

And GroenLinks parliamentarian Tofik Dibi, said he does not understand why the burka is such a big issue. 'People are unsure about their and their children's future, but instead lets track down and fine a handful of burkas,' he said.

Earlier this week, regional newspapers reported the draft legislation had been heavily criticised by the government’s most important advisory body and needed significant amendments.

Minister Spies told reporters the cabinet had decided not to accept some of the Council of State's recommendations.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Urgent advice to Dutch electorate; next time, vote for adults.

By Michael | 27 January 2012 2:40 PM

Yet another fantastically well thought-through cost-efficient action taken by the current elected Dutch government ;) I am so glad my hard earned (and scarce) tax money is being used to prohibit a piece of clothing worn by no more than 100 people in this country. Anybody mention to the cabinet that we are running out of money for essential services??

By Bill | 27 January 2012 3:10 PM

Good and about time.

By Paul | 27 January 2012 3:31 PM

"Hey look, Ma! We made a decision!! We're decisive!! Are we doing a good job now??"

"Next on the agenda...the economy??? Oh crap...any one else we can pick on next so we don't have to deal with this?"

By CW | 27 January 2012 4:44 PM

Dibi and co are putting the emphasis on the burka, but presumably fail to see (or find it unworthy of a mention) that it also applies (rightly) to balaclavas and helmets.

By woods | 27 January 2012 4:49 PM

this is not entirely correct, italy has this law against covering your face from the '70s.

By shimond | 27 January 2012 5:26 PM

Women who only "dared" or were "permitted" to leave the house according to the Dutch Turkish Association? Disgusting.

By cvb | 27 January 2012 6:38 PM

Type fourth paragraph: 'Women who only dared or were allowed to leave their homes in a burka will not stay at home'. Should read: 'Women who only dared or were allowed to leave their homes in a burka will NOW stay at home'

By Geuzen76 | 27 January 2012 6:59 PM

If the law was directed at anyone with full face cover, the islamic protests could have been avoided and the security issue would have been resolved without religious undertones.

By auba | 27 January 2012 8:03 PM

Australia should be doing the same.Well done the Netherlands for having the sense to do this.

By Ian | 27 January 2012 9:26 PM

Is it really that important? I've lived in Amsterdam for >15 years, and I might have seen a woman wearing a burka once. Those women don't 'bother' me, but I feel sorry for them.

By Willie | 28 January 2012 8:46 AM

what a good idea the dutch have.I will get some critisism about this,but as I have always believed and practice when you live in another country follow their beliefs and customs.

By Gerrit Zawiolkowski | 28 January 2012 12:35 PM

I live next to a busy road and have a good view of the street. In the last 9 years, I have seen only two women (?) wearing the ancient misogynistic garment.........more BS yellow journalism that will not help the Netherlands one iota, get real!!

By The visitor | 30 January 2012 6:24 PM


The great thing about a modern Western liberal democracy (I assume Holland is still one of these!) is that you can do (wear) whatever you want as long as it does not detract from other people's personal liberties. Wearing a burka does not detract from anyone else's liberties, so thus should not be subject to a ban. However, banning the wearing of certain articles of clothing I would argue is an overreach of governmental power into the private lives of it's citizens.

What I think you are meaning is that when in Holland we should all do the same thing as the "sterotypical" Dutch image. This is ludicrous, as we should then wear pink shirts and wear clogs.

By bunny | 30 January 2012 7:01 PM


I really did not think Dutch (and any other Western liberal democracy) "beliefs and customs" included making decisions on how OTHER people should dress. You may counter that, in Middle Eastern countries, we would be expected to dress accordingly, however, these are NOT liberal democracies. We should not drag ourselves down to the worst parts of any country or governance system.

By bunny | 30 January 2012 7:04 PM

Newsletter| RSS| Advertising| Business services| Mobile| Friends| Privacy| Contact| About us| Tell a Friend
Apartments for rent Rondvaart - Amsterdam