Ban the burqa! (Even if nobody wears it.)

I always thought the Dutch had more sense than to do this.

I guess I was wrong:

The Dutch cabinet has backed a proposal by the country’s immigration minister to ban Muslim women from wearing the burqa in public places.

The burqa, a full body covering that also obscures the face, would be banned by law in the street, and in trains, schools, buses and the law courts.

The cabinet said burqas disturb public order, citizens and safety.

The decision comes days ahead of elections which the ruling centre-right coalition is expected to win.

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, who is known for her tough policies, said it was important that all people in the Netherlands were able to see and identify each other clearly to promote integration and tolerance.

Last year a majority of MPs in the Dutch parliament said they were in favour of a ban.

An estimated 6% of 16 million people living in the Netherlands are Muslims.

But there are thought to be fewer than 100 women who choose to wear the burqa, a traditional Islamic form of dress.

And get a load of this little bit of Orwellian doublethink (with emphasis added):

Ms Verdonk insisted the burqa was not an acceptable part of public life in the Netherlands.

“The Cabinet finds it undesirable that face-covering clothing – including the burqa – is worn in public places for reasons of public order, security and protection of citizens,” she said.

Critics of the proposed ban say it would violate civil rights.

The main Muslim organisation in the Netherlands, CMO, said the plan was an “over-reaction to a very marginal problem”, the Associated Press reported.

But the minister told the BBC that social interaction would be easier if faces were not covered.

“It is very important that we can see each other and can communicate with each other. Because we are so tolerant we want to respect each other.

Doubleplusungood. Also doubleplusunnecessary!

But then again–that’s conservatism for you. Make it look like you’re doing something by using a sledgehammer to swat a mosquito!

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One Response to Ban the burqa! (Even if nobody wears it.)

  1. anon says:

    I wonder where all those right-wingers who screamed about free speech regarding the Danish caricatures (where no issue of free speech even arose) are going to be now, on this much more serious issue of free expression.

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