Update: Turkish Protests in The Hague

30 October 2011

Following tensions last week between Turkish and Kurdish communities in Amsterdam, Turks demonstrated peacefully in The Hague on Sunday. The protest was under tight security; some 200 riot police watched the gathering, though wearing no helmets and minimal gear. Organizers had predicted 4,000 participants, but estimates of attendance are placed at between 500 and 700 individuals.

In an event separate from the rally, a dispute between members of the two communities resulted in the arrest of two pro-Turkish demonstrators. 

Muslim woman: Roller rink didn’t allow head scarf

VERNON, Conn. — A Muslim woman in Connecticut says a roller rink’s request that she either remove or cover her head scarf was discriminatory.

Marisol Rodriguez-Colon of Windsor tells WTIC-TV that she and her sister-in-law went to the Ron-A-Roll indoor rink in Vernon on Sunday for her niece’s birthday party. She says inside, a woman who identified herself as a manager told them they would have to either remove their hijabs or wear helmets. She was told the rink has a policy prohibiting headwear.

Rink management issued a statement reiterating the no headwear policy and saying helmets are offered for safety purposes.

Novara: Woman is fined 500€ for wearing a burqa at the post office

In the first case of a fine for wearing a burqa in Italy. To be exact, the woman, a 26 years old Tunisian, was wearing a niqab, thus violating the recent bylaws of the Northern League’s mayor of Novara who justified the new rule for security reasons and to make clear that those who come respect the local traditions. The story of the fine started last autumn, when the mayor met casually a totally veiled woman on the street and called the police force to identify her. He then discovered what he perceives as a leak in the Italian legislative system that allows people to get away with covering fully. Therefore, he thought of launching a special bylaw. He maintains that, this measure applies also to those wearing helmets in public. However, the debate around burqa pays much more in political terms. The woman was stopped near the Post Office, but when the policemen asked her to unveil for identification, her husband strongly opposed for religious reasons. The traffic police intervened solving the situation offering the Tunisian woman to unveil in front of a woman traffic warden. The Tunisian woman was nevertheless fined. The problem raised by the case, as indicated by the writer, revolves around the autonomy of the woman: did she chose herself to wear the niqab or was forced by her husband? It wasn’t possible to find out as the husband was the only one speaking.

Spanish students plan protest against hijab in class

Spanish school authorities in Lerida shut down a planned protest by students at a local high school. The students protested after two fellow students, both of whom are Muslim girls, were allowed to wear the hijab to class. The students planned to wear helmets to class to protest that they were unable to wear caps while the other students wore hijab. Sources at the school said that this was a minor incident and that the two Muslim girls are attending class normally and without further opposition. This was the first time Muslim girls wearing the hijab had attended the school.

Dutch Muslims Condemn Burqa Ban

Dutch Muslims have criticised a government proposal to ban women from wearing the burqa or veils which cover the face in public places. Dutch Muslim groups say a ban would make the country’s one million Muslims feel victimised and alienated. The Dutch cabinet said burqas – a full body covering that also obscures the face – disturb public order and safety. The proposed ban would apply to wearing the burqa in the street, and in trains, schools, buses and law courts in the Netherlands. Other forms of face coverings, such as veils, and crash helmets with visors that obscure the face, would also be covered by a ban. 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.”