16 September 2011
The Dutch government has agreed to a ban on the burqa under a deal with Geert Wilders’ PVV Party. The Interior Minister announced that “a general ban on wearing face-restrictive clothing in public is on the way” and will be in effect in public buildings, educational institutions, hospitals and public transport. The government statement indicated that face covering is “fundamentally against the character of public discourse where we have to me each other on an equal level” and is a necessary and justified restriction on freedom of religion “to protect the character and good habits of public life in the Netherlands”. The sanction for non-compliance will be a fine.