Cabinet approves limited burqa ban

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

The Dutch Cabinet approved a proposal on Friday from Ronal Plasterk, Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations, to ban burqas in several high-profile areas, including on public transport, in schools, healthcare and government building. The goal is not to penalize people wearing burqas, but to set a clear standard that it is customary in the Netherlands to show your face, sources told broadcaster RTL. The government believes that the ban is important for citizens' safety. Burqas can still be used in public, but not adhering to the ban may result in a 405 euro fine. However, police will rarely enforce the fines, Plasterk said. Maintaining this rule is mainly a task for the administrators of the buildings where the ban applies. However, police can ask someone wearing a burka to remove the facial piece for identification.