The government’s highest advisory body, the Council of State, has again criticised the cabinet’s plans to introduce a ban on the burqa, the NRC reports.
The organisation says it does not see the need for a ban and says the government has not given sufficient arguments for going ahead. In addition, the government is being led by ‘subjective feelings of insecurity’ which do not give enough grounds for a ban.
The government says the ban on face-covering garments in public places is necessary to guarantee open communication between people and that a ban will boost equality between men and women. In addition, a ban is necessary because of public safety concerns.
In its criticism, the Council of State says it is not up to the government to determine what women can wear. In addition, there are enough other laws to ensure public safety without banning the burqa.
The government rejected earlier Council of State objections, and it is unclear if it will take the council’s position into account now. However, the objections do show that a ban would be vulnerable to legal challenge, the NRC reports.
At the weekend, Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said his officers would not automatically fine burqa wearers once the ban becomes law. It is up to individual officers to decide how to proceed, he told a television talk show.
If the draft legislation passes through both houses of parliament, it will affect an estimated 150 to 200 women in the Netherlands, the paper said.
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