The Netherlands—traditionally one of Western Europe’s more leftist societies— has this month officially banned the wearing of Muslim burqas in public and has passed a parliamentary motion officially condemning the plans by the South African government to seize white property.
A law that prohibits clothing that “covers the face” from being worn in a variety of public spaces, such as schools, hospitals, public buildings and public transport, came into effect in the Netherlands on July 1.
Authorities are now required to tell people to show their faces. If someone refuses, they can be denied access to public areas, and face fines of up to €150 ($167).
An Islamic political party in Rotterdam said it will pay the financial penalties for anybody caught wearing the now prohibited clothing
France was the first country in Europe to ban the veil almost 10 years ago. Several other countries have since followed suit. In Denmark, the burqa ban has been in effect for a year.
Earlier this year Austria passed a law intended to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in primary schools. The headscarf ruling came in addition to Austria’s prohibition of full-face coverings which has been in force since 2017.
The German state of Hesse has implemented similar burqa restrictions for the civil service.
Six months ago, full-face coverings were forbidden at Kiel University in the north of Germany, citing the need for open communication that includes facial expressions and gestures.
At the same time, the Dutch Parliament accepted a motion on July 1, 2019, condemning South African government’s policy seeking property expropriation without compensation from whites as being contrary to international human rights.
The motion stated “that both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter of Human Rights forbid arbitrary deprivation of property, especially on the basis of skin color”. It also “calls on the government, bilaterally and in international fora, to make a clear statement that the intended expropriation of white farmers in South Africa, without compensation, is contrary to human rights, and to put pressure on South Africa to abandon it.”
The motion was submitted by Martijn van Helvert, a Christian Democrat (CDA) Member of Parliament, and Kees van der Staaij, the leader of the State Reformed Party (SGP). The Dutch Second Chamber passed the motion by 86 votes for and 64 votes against.
The parties who supported the motion included the ruling liberal VVD party of prime minister Mark Rutte, the Christian Democrats, two nationalist parties, the PVV of Geert Wilders and the Forum for Democracy of Thierry Baudet, Plus50, a small party representing the interests of older citizens, the conservative Christian SGP and the liberal Christian Christian Union party.