- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
Belgium votes to ban burqa
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1118 days ago | Friday, 30th April , 2010 , 14:12 [pm] | International
|.|| In a near-unanimous vote on Thursday, Belgium’s lower house of parliament voted to ban the burqa. The move could make the country the first in Europe to outlaw the practice.
Belgium voted to ban the Islamic burqa in public on Thursday
In a near-unanimous vote on Thursday, Belgium’s lower house of parliament voted to ban the burqa. The move could make the country the first in Europe to outlaw the practice.
Belgium voted to ban the Islamic burqa in public on Thursday, a move which could become law in the coming months.
The draft law, which would ban all clothing that covers or partially covers the face, was described as a necessary security measure to prevent the obscuring of a person’s identity. It saw almost unanimous approval by the lower house of parliament, with only two abstentions.
If approved in the Senate, the law would make Belgium the first country in Europe to ban the practice. France will start to discuss a draft bill to ban the wearing of veils in public in May.
Countries across Europe have debated the banning of veils or headscarves to address public concern about a perceived growth of Islamic militancy. Promoters of the bill said the law could also be used against potentially violent demonstrators who covered their faces.
Wearing the facial veil, known as the niqab, and the body-length burqa could lead to fines of 15 to 25 euros (about $20 to $33) and imprisonment for up to seven days.
‘A dangerous precedent’
Amnesty International condemned the move, warning that it set “a dangerous precedent.”
“A complete ban on the covering of the face would violate the rights to freedom of expression and religion of those women who wear the burqa or the niqab,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s expert on discrimination in Europe.
Dalhuisen added that there was no “demonstrable link between the wearing of full face veils in Belgium and genuine threats to public safety.”
Isabelle Praille, vice president of the Executive of Belgian Muslims, told the Reuters news agency that the ban risked further stigmatizing the Muslim community.
Belgium’s early elections, following the fall of the government on April 22, may delay the passage of the law as both houses of parliament must first approve the bill.dw, Voice of a Nation