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Dutch ban on burqas in public places takes effect

55 Comments
By FARSHAD USYAN

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55 Comments
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A blatant and racist attack on religious freedom and the right of women to dress as they please.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

I am not sure If it's good or bad. Check Twitter If Trump is happy with this..

0 ( +3 / -3 )

All the problems in the world to address, and these brainiacs go after 200-400 women wearing burkas. Yeah, I am sure they are an existential threat...

Fortunately, the people that are supposed to enforce it aren't willing to waste their time.

https://nypost.com/2019/08/01/dutch-burqa-ban-takes-effect-but-police-unlikely-to-enforce-it/

1 ( +6 / -5 )

BB - it isn't racist.

It could be an attack on religious freedom, but most people don't practice their religion in public buildings and this doesn't impact what they do at home or in buildings owned by any religious group.

When you move to a new country, there are local customs which need to be respected. Hiding one's face is disconcerting in many European cultures.

When I visit Islamic countries, I know to dress in a modest way, because that is their culture. When I visit temples, I know to wear long pants and a nice shirt. It is a sign of respect for their culture.

Shouldn't people visiting/moving into other cultures show similar respect for local customs?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Thankfully, the road to integration is being set by these forward looking European countries.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It added that it was important in such public places to be recognized and seen, which besides the burqa, also bans a face-covering helmet or hood. A person could be fined 150 euros ($165).

Looks like cosplayers in the Netherlands will need to be very careful now. So are those people dressing up as mascots for events. All can now only be done in privates.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Excellent news--which is also fair. I people travel to the homes of the burqas, they have to abide by the culture of those countries; i.e., no pork or beer, or kissing or holding hands; and women have to cover their hair. These people need to accept that they are welcome, but only is they respect and assimilate to the culture. In Western culture and societies, we don't expect our women to wear burqas and veils, it goes against what we believe: women's bodies are beautiful and a product of God and nature and do not need to be hidden as there is nothing wrong or evil or shameful about them.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Is it OK, then for Japanese tourists to wear face masks?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Is it OK, then for Japanese tourists to wear face masks?

And another timber of Western society if felled and placed in the fire.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Is it OK, then for Japanese tourists to wear face masks?

Maybe; the wording of the article would imply that’s a possibility, but doesn’t give enough details of the law to determine one way or the other.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Actually, this ban also covers integral helmets and balaclava masks in offices, hospitals and schools. Sounds quite fair to me.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is not the subject of legislation, surely. If the law states that faces must be uncovered, then Japanese tourists wearing face masks must be illegal. As would anyone with allergies or a cold who wants to wear one. If the law states that burqas are illegal, this is surely racist and religious persecution.

Can't we even decide what to wear these days?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@BertieWooster

Is it OK, then for Japanese tourists to wear face masks?

Nice one, Bertie.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is not the subject of legislation, surely. If the law states that faces must be uncovered, then Japanese tourists wearing face masks must be illegal. As would anyone with allergies or a cold who wants to wear one. If the law states that burqas are illegal, this is surely racist and religious persecution.

You're just exploiting a loophole to undermine the culture and society of the Netherlands. We all know Japanese are very polite and respectful and would abide by the "when in Rome…" rule.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

For those who see this as racist or an attack on religious freedom, perhaps it is worth pointing out that some Muslim-majority countries have banned this garment. For some Muslims it is seen as extremist and a security risk.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There are still plenty of countries where muslims can do as they please.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Dutch law does not ban the wearing of a burqa on the street, unlike France's ban which took effect in 2010. Belgium, Denmark and Austria have similar laws.

In most Muslim countries you can’t be on the street converting people can be a serious crime. There country, there laws, there are a lot of laws where you live as a foreigner that you may not like in your host country, but when in Rome....

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Better late than never I guess. Every other non-Islamic country in the world needs to follow suit.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Looks like it's not easy to enforce anyway:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/01/dutch-police-signal-unwillingness-enforce-new-burqa-ban

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A blatant and racist attack on religious freedom and the right of women to dress as they please.

It's not racist, but it does limit the freedom to dress as one wishes, which is not something I favour. As for "religious freedom": religions are made up by people and the "rules" of those religions should never supersede national laws. Otherwise, anyone could say anything they did was part of their religion, resulting in chaos.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I really don't care whether the burqa (or niqab) is offensive to the Western eye. That's not the point. If we were just talking about visually/culturally offensive, I'd ban from public view anyone wearing a baseball cap backwards. The question should be whether women wearing the burqa or niqab are security risks. Obviously in some places (e.g. parliament) they would be - but I'm pretty sure most countries already ban that. But obviously there's a potential for weapons, bombs, etc to be hidden beneath a burqa, or for a male terrorist to use a burqa to disguise himself.

Maybe that security risk makes this ban right. But if it does, we have to accept that it's a curtailment of an otherwise harmless religious freedom and will lead to burqa-wearing women being isolated within their own homes. If wearing the burqa is their choice, then fair enough, but if the burqa is just another cultural/religious imposition on their lives, then it isn't.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

CrazyJoeToday  07:21 am JST

“All the problems in the world to address, and these brainiacs go after 200-400 women wearing burkas. Yeah, I am sure they are an existential threat...”

They may all be totally innocent peaceful women. But not so those who would dress like them in order to carry out terroir attacks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In most Muslim countries you can’t be on the street converting people can be a serious crime.

Yes, but thankfully the Netherlands is not governed by theocrats or leaders with theocratic tendencies - it is a functionally secular country. Thinking in terms of ‘Islamic countries do worse’ isn’t the way to approach this. If you take the likes of Saudi Arabia as a model, bigots could argue for throwing gays in jail because the Saudis do worse by executing them.

Not a useful nor civilized metric.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is NOT an absolute ban anywhere in Denmark. The ban is in very specific locations only.

BTW, men in Islamic countries often hold hands as a sign of friendship. There are many photos of this. They also kiss on the cheek.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks like it's not easy to enforce anyway:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/01/dutch-police-signal-unwillingness-enforce-new-burqa-ban

There's a reason it's called Dutch courage.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Muslim women aren't imposing their views onto the European women. They merely choose to dress in a different manner.

Many muslim women are particularly sensitive about receiving unwanted attention from men they don't know, hence they cover themselves in public.

They shouldn't be forced to reveal themselves to men if they don't want to.

The body and the clothing covering it is a private matter and a personal choice. Bus drivers and post office workers have no business telling women and young girls what they should and shouldn't wear.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The body and the clothing covering it is a private matter

Not when you are impossible to identify because you are covered from head to toe in public spaces.

Then it ceases to become a purely private matter.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Bush,

I'm sure mother Russia will welcome with open arms all these poor Muslims whisk rights are being trampled on by the evil Europeans. Meh...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not when you are impossible to identify because you are covered from head to toe in public spaces.

I can't "identify" half of Japan during flu season, not that I think I have some "right" to identify women and girls on the street.

Sure, if you're approached by the cops and they ask you politely then you should remove whatever is covering your face temporarily but men on the street don't have a "right" to oogle at women if those women simply don't want their attention.

I'm sure mother Russia will welcome with open arms all these poor Muslims whisk rights are being trampled on by the evil Europeans.

All religions are respected in Russia and people are free to dress as they like.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Absolutely a meaningful move. It has nothing to do with religion as some wants to define it as. It has to do with the safety and security of a country's citizens.

In some areas of the US, sunglasses and hats are prohibited in banks and allows security cameras and security personnel to identify individuals. That is for the safety and security of the bank and their customers. And ALL are required to remove them, regardless of religion.

When the world is no longer "safe" and "secure", only because there are racial tensions and terror activities, this is one way to assure "identifying" any suspicious persons and perpetrators. And their society has some major problems. So why not?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not when you are impossible to identify because you are covered from head to toe in public spaces. 

Then it ceases to become a purely private matter.

Oh, I definitely agree on that point.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The problem is and remains what to whan a radical political ideology and system of law that is incompatible with Western culture and law is allowed because it calls itself a "religion".

Unless we redefine our concept of "religious freedom", we will continue to lose.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In America in some states certain styles of teenage clothing are banned like pants hanging down exposing their underwear or arse.

When entering a store motor bike riders with helmets are required to remove them.

Japanese wear partial face masks but westerners usually do not. I can see the sex identity of the mask wearer.

With a full burqa and face cover it could be a male terrorist but then it could also be a female terrorist. The wearing of the burqa isn’t stated in the Quran.

If I were in a Middle East Islamic country I would be required to accept it but do I want to accept them in my own western country or even Japan.

There are many aspects of Islam we don’t accept like child brides and having more than one wife. We don’t accept the tradition of allowing Islamic males having sex with very young boys.

Religious freedom means choosing your religion freely until it interferes with the larger society. Then the larger society becomes the order.

In New York there is no law about women being topless but you can’t do that in Amsterdam.

We are required to dress to standards every day for our work or if we want to visit a restaurant requiring males to wear a tie and jacket.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unless we redefine our concept of "religious freedom", we will continue to lose.

Can you give us a definition to work from?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Can you give us a definition to work from

yes religious freedom is when you are able to follow a religion provided that religion does not break any national laws like no child sacrifice in witch rituals.

or even the religion interferes with the national good or like sharia law can only be followed if all parties agree and should never supersedes national laws

4 ( +4 / -0 )

yes religious freedom is when you are able to follow a religion provided that religion does not break any national laws

What law says that women must expose themselves in public?

Where is that law written?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

What law says that women must expose themselves in public?

The laws in the following 14 nations that have banned the burqa, includiding Austria, Denmark, France, Belgium, Tajikistan, Latvia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, the Netherlands, Morocco and Sri Lanka.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Japan I’ve seen many Muslim women but none ever wearing a burqa.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In Japan I’ve seen many Muslim women but none ever wearing a burqa.

Very encouraging to hear let's hope it stays that way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Very encouraging to hear let's hope it stays that way.

I think the majority of Muslim residents or tourists in Japan are of SE Asian origin where the burqa is less prevalent. In Tokyo, you’ll pretty often see women wearing the headscarf.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jimizo

I think the majority of Muslim residents or tourists in Japan are of SE Asian origin where the burqa is less prevalent. In Tokyo, you’ll pretty often see women wearing the headscarf.

Like I said, the burqa isn't part of the Quran.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

In Tokyo, you’ll pretty often see women wearing the headscarf.

That's true and even that will diminish seeing as the global trend, religious regimes notwithstanding, tends to make wearing a headscarf much more a personal choice rather than an obligation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Zichi

Many argue the headscarf isn’t a requirement according to the scripture either.

It certainly predates Islam.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jimizo

The headscarf is mentioned in the Quran

It is an obligation for Muslim women to cover their hair in public. This is very clearly mentioned in the Qur’an where it says: “Tell the believing women to…draw their headscarves over their chests…” [Qur’an 24:31]. The verse makes it clear that women are not only required to wear a headscarf, which primarily serves the purpose of covering the head, but to wear it in a specific way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Zichi

The Quran is self-contradictory. Some Muslims quote the verse which stipulates there is no compunction in religion which they take to mean wearing the headscarf is not obligatory.

I’ve always found it strange that the creator of the universe isn’t very good at making things clear. I do a better job writing reports and I’m a semi-educated, semi-literate mortal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

*compunction - compulsion

Getting late...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Quran is self-contradictory

The Quran like any other religious book leaves a lot of room for interpretation which can be used by contemporary leaders at their own discretion and benefit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Quran like any other religious book leaves a lot of room for interpretation which can be used by contemporary leaders at their own discretion and benefit.

True. They all seem to be men telling women what to do too. Funny that. I get the feeling the burqa wasn’t the brainchild of a woman.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jimizo

point is the burqa isn't mention in the Quran while the headscarf is. Banning the burqa is not going against the Quran. They can wear a headscarf.

I think in France even the headscarf is banned in all public buildings?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think in France even the headscarf is banned in all public buildings?

Yes but if I am not mistaken only when actually holding a public office as is the case in some other countries as well.

This does not only apply to the headscarf by the way but all religious symbols in order to ensure neutrality and promote secularisation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Absolutely a meaningful move. It has nothing to do with religion as some wants to define it as. It has to do with the safety and security of a country's citizens.

Yet for centuries nuns were unimpeded, yet in the last few years countries all across Europe have implemented rule similar rules banning headscarves. It clearly has a lot to do with religion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

point is the burqa isn't mention in the Quran while the headscarf is. Banning the burqa is not going against the Quran. They can wear a headscarf.

Covering of hair was a pretty common thing among women in Europe until recently, and in Judaism. Across parts of Southern Europe you will still see elderly women with covered hair. And look at paintings from there middle ages up to the 18th century - women were still covering their hair. For example:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_with_a_Water_Jug

It was a quasi-religious practice. Fortunately nearly died out in Europe, along with religion altogether (something I pray for, figuratively)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No one should be telling women what they can and can't wear.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No masks in hospitals? Nasty...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

women's bodies are beautiful and a product of God and nature and do not need to be hidden as there is nothing wrong or evil or shameful about them.

Women have the right to dress as they feel. Covered or not.

It's got nothing to do with any deities.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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