Dutch Parliament Passes a Partial Ban on “Face Covering Clothing”

The Netherland Senate has passed a partial ban on Tuesday by banning the face covering clothes in public places, including Islamic veils and robes such as the burqa and niqab but not the hijab, which covers only the hair.

The new law expose that all kinds of face covering clothes are banned in government buildings, schools, hospitals, and on public transport.

According to a report, the Dutch government indicate the new law as “religion-neutral,” which also applies to ski masks and full-face helmets in these public spaces.

Wilders’ Freedom Party claimed the development as a major victory, while Senator Marjolein Faber-Van de Klashorst called it “a historical day because this is the first step to de-Islamize the Netherlands”.

“This is the first step and the next step is to close all the mosques in the Netherlands,” she said, building on Wilders’ anti-Islam rhetoric.

Regarding to hurt the religious point of view, the Dutch government said people s’till have full freedom on how to dress’, except when it is necessary to have full facial contact, for instance in education and health-related situations.

The ban does not apply to public streets, although police can ask an individual to remove face-covering clothing for identification.

The European Forum of Muslim Women, a coalition of 17 regional Muslim organizations, condemned the Netherlands’ new law as a “basic infringement of Muslim women’s rights”.

Covering the face completely, burqa is a face veil worn by some Muslim women as part of their spiritual practice and the niqab is another type of Islamic veil that leaves the area around the eyes open.

> Shatabdi Sarker Poushi

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