Violence fears over Dutch burka ban

The foreign ministry fears there may be violent protests abroad because of the Netherlands’ proposed ban on the burka, the AD reports this morning. The paper says that the suggestion is made in an internal ministry memo which also discusses international reaction to the Danish cartoons lampooning Mohammed and Ayan Hirsi Ali’s plans to produce a sequel to her 10-minute film Submission.

The ban has already been condemned by the Malaysian authorities and received extensive coverage in the foreign press.
Only about 30 women are thought to wear the head-to-toe burka in the Netherlands. The ban, on public safety grounds, would also apply to ski masks and full-face motorcycle helmets. Hardline integration minister Rita Verdonk said on Friday that there were no legal obstacles to banning the burka and she planned to introduce a ban.
The announcement is largely seen as a vote catcher ahead of Wednesday’s general election. ‘People should always be recognisable and from the standpoint of integration, we think people should be able to communicate with each other,’ the minister is reported as saying. Her Liberal VVD party is trailing in the polls.

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