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Belgium’s Lower House Bans Burka


Around 30 women wear the Burqa in all of Belgium.

Belgian lawmakers pass burka ban

The law would ban any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in places like parks and on the street. No-one voted against it.

The law now goes to the Senate, which is also expected to approve it. It would then become law by June or July.

The ban would be the first move of its kind in Europe.

Only around 30 women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million.

The BBC’s Dominic Hughes in Brussels says MPs backed the legislation on the grounds of security, to allow police to identify people.

Other MPs said that the full face veil was a symbol of the oppression of women, our correspondent says.

The ban would be imposed in all buildings or grounds that are “meant for public use or to provide services”, including streets, parks and sports grounds.

Exceptions could be made for certain festivals.

Those who break the law could face a fine of 15-25 euros (£13-£27) or a seven-day jail sentence.

The Muslim Executive of Britain has criticised the move, saying it would lead to women who do wear the full veil to be trapped in their homes.

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  • Sharon

    I am with you Peter….muslims should obey the law of the land they chose to live in and work.

  • peter

    well it’s more free than what you had in your countries , if you don’t like it than leave . nobody will stop you from leaving, and going back to your barbaric sharia law infested coutry .

  • mindy1

    I do not think that this is the way to address very real concerns. Banning people from expressing their religion is going to breed resentment, and make things worse

  • Ferret
  • Abdulmajid

    THis is not about the burqa, about hiding face or such. It is a dangerous precedents. Law aimed specifically at Muslims. It is fascist. One really wonders in which other way tehy will next limit freedom of expression for Muslims. If they say that the veil or the headscarf is a sign of an evil ideology tehn next they will say Islam is evil by nature, Muslims arew evil people whom it is legitimate to commit pogroms against. We ‘ve had that before. From 1933 to 1945, remember?
    And not only that. As long as common rules of decency are not infringed the state should not be given any say in regulating peoples’ clothing. Neither should the veil be forbidden nor enforced. There are, however, situations where it is disrespectful not to wear it.
    Last year in Bosnia, when I was at the Dervish Tekke of Blagaj there were many Christian visitors there (I know because they wore crucifixes) And none of their women had any problem with donning a headscarf when they went inside. The young girls seemed to have great fun with it. Likewise, some years ago I visited the synagogue in Prague where the names of all the holocaust victims are inscribed. They require you to cover your head, and they have paper yarmulkes for that. As a Muslim I feel it isproblematic for me to wear a yarmulke and I asked them if my basecap would do; fortunately it did. (this was before Sept. 11th; I wonder what they would have said to my knitted Arab skullcap.)
    I am not forcing my little daughter to wear hijab. She will learn in due course what it is and what it’s good for, then I will let her decide herself. My wife never has worn a veil, and yet she is from a very strict and conservative Moroccan family. Yet I have never seen that they treated their womenfolk other than with kindness and consideration. All this crap about Muslim woman oppression and hijab or teh veil being a sign of said oppression is nothing but tripe. Or do they think that it doesn’t exist among Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jews and atheists? Don’t their women wear a headscarf too? Doesn’t gender violence occur in non-Muslim societies too, and often worse? I hate Islamophobes and their double standards, and their complaints about double standards! What next, when a Muslim woman comes to Europe will she be required by the border police to take off her headscarf?

  • mohamd

    wow..only 30 women wear the burga or niqab and belgium then ban its completly..wat next beard ban or kufi ban or hijab ban or even muslim ban all together…I guess this is a free society huh

  • This is more rubbish based in the Islamification myth and the hypocritical notion that we have to inhibit a woman’s freedom to “liberate her.” We should ask about other forms of face wear, such as ski masks and costume masks. If you notice – again – how “security” is mentioned.

    If only 30 women in all of Belgium wear a face veil – what then is the point other than scoring political points off of the Islamification myth?

    The Council of Europe has stated that these kinds of bans probably violate the ECHR.

    QUOTE: “Prohibition of the burqa and the niqab would not liberate oppressed women, but might instead lead to their further alienation in European societies. A general ban on such attires would constitute an ill-advised invasion of individual privacy. Depending on its precise terms, a prohibition also raises serious questions about whether such legislation would be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.”

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