November 17, 2006

Dutch to ban wearing of Muslim burqa in public

The Dutch government agreed on Friday a total ban on the wearing of burqas and other Muslim face veils in public, justifying the move on security grounds. Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk will now draw up legislation which will result in the Netherlands, once one of Europe's most easy-going nations, imposing some of the continent's toughest laws against concealing the face. "The cabinet finds it undesirable that garments covering the face -- including the burqa -- should be worn in public in view of public order, (and) the security and protection of fellow citizens," the Dutch Justice Ministry said in a statement.