Burqa ban possible in public transit, schools

Woman wearing a burka (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Paolo Bottazzi)Woman wearing a burka (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Paolo Bottazzi)

The Cabinet wants to introduce a limited burqa ban which would make the face covering forbidden in public transport, education, healthcare and government buildings. The council of ministers will soon discuss this proposal put forward by Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs, sources close to the proposal told RTL Nieuws.

Those who do not adhere to the ban could face a fine of up to 405 euros. RTL's sources say that the goal is not to penalize people wearing burqas, but to set a clear standard that it is customary to show your face.

This is not a general burqa ban as put forward by the Rutte I cabinet in 2012. Burqas may still be worn on the street and in private environments, such as at home. The police can, however, always ask someone wearing a burqa to show their face for identification. Exceptions may be made if, for example, a person has to cover his or her face for health or safety reasons.

The ministries has been working to finalize this proposal for the past few months. Minister Plasterk has consulted with Muslim organizations to seek support for the limited ban. The coalition between the VVD and PvdA has already agreed on the proposal, but figuring out the execution has taken some time. The proposal is currently being discussed in the Cabinet, where the coalition may need the support of anti-Islam parties to get this proposal approved.


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