No burqa ban in the Netherlands

The new Dutch government does not plan to implement two parliamentary votes in favour of a ban on the burqa in public places, integration minister Ella Vogelaar told Radio 1 on Saturday. ‘A ban is very complicated legally. And, above that, only around 150 women in this country wear one,’ the minister said.

A general ban on burqas would be stigmatising and counter-productive, she said. The burqa itself had come to be a symbol of the fear of Islam, she added.
Vogelaar said she had been astonished by the commotion caused by her comments last week when she said a burqa was acceptable as street wear. ‘There seems to be a feeling that I am a burqa fan,’ she told Radio 1. ‘That is absolutely not the case.’
A majority of MPs in the old parliament twice backed a motion calling for a ban on the face-covering garment. And after Vogelaar’s comments last week, anti-immigration MP Geert Wilders said he planned to introduce his own legislative bill calling for a ban.
It is unclear if another motion for a ban would be passed given the new political make-up of parliament.
Current legislation already allowed burqas to be banned in some circumstances, such as in schools and on public transport, the minister pointed out.

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