There should be a ‘more reflective debate about the separation of church and state’, VVD MP Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert says in an interview with the Pers newspaper.
The current debate is ‘too confined’ because ‘Christian parties are exerting pressure as well,’ the MP said.
Hennis-Plasschaert pointed out that Islamic headscarves are banned in Turkish public institutions and universities, and that France has brought in a ban on headscarves in schools.
‘I would very much like to have that debate about when you can wear a headscarf,’ she said.
The MP said a ban on religious symbols would cover all religions.
‘We talk a lot about the separation of church and state, but the church has become involved in the state in a lot of ways,’ she said. ‘Look at religious schools and the way public broadcasting is organised. That goes for ritual slaughter as well.’
The VVD is in a coalition government with the Christian Democrats and has made concessions on Sunday trading with the fundamentalist SGP. The coalition may also rely on the SGP for majority support in the upper house of parliament.
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