Nijmegen apologises to woman in niqab ordered to leave playground


Nijmegen city council has apologised to a woman wearing a niqab who was ordered to leave a children’s playground by workers.

The council staff insisted the woman leave, following complaints from another visitor, but were later told by the police that the ban on wearing face covering garments does not apply to playgrounds.

The Nijmegen incident is the first to be officially reported since the so-called burqa ban came into effect on August 1. The ban covers government buildings, schools and colleges, hospitals and public transport.

Although the Nijmegen playground is owned by the council, it does not count at as a building, a council spokesman told the NRC.

‘This is how the misunderstanding arose,’ the spokesman said. ‘This should not have happened.’ Officials have apologised to the woman and given her a free ticket for the playground, worth  €4.85, the paper said.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, told the paper the incident had been upsetting.  ‘But, live and let live, that is my way of living,’ she said.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation