Update: Further Criticism of Planned ‘Burqa Ban’ in Netherlands

7 February 2012

The Dutch cabinet’s plans to introduce a ban on the burqa continues to draw criticism. The Dutch Council of State, the government’s highest advisory body, as announced that it does not see the need for the ban, and suggests the government is being led by “subjective feelings of insecurity”. The advisory body has said that it is not a government decision to regulate what women can wear, and that other laws are in p lace to ensure public safety without the ban. The government rejected earlier objections from the Council and it is unclear what impact the statement will have now. Ministers maintain that the ban is necessary to preserve public order and security.

Meanwhile, attention to reactions among Muslims in the country to the advancing ban remains scarce. Beyond the initial comments from the spokesperson for the Turkish organization IOT, as well as the head of the women’s organization Al Nisa, both of whom expressed concerns that the ban would cause women to become isolated in their homes, few Muslim voices have attained prominence in the mainstream media coverage.