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Saturday 20 December  

Dutch interior minister argues for burqa ban

Published on 30 June 2011 - 10:50am
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"You can't walk down the street naked either. That is the result of our norms about decent behaviour. The Netherlands also has norms which make it advisable to ban clothing which covers your face."

Interior Minister Piet-Hein Donner was speaking during a debate about his integration bill, which would introduce a ban on burqas. Not for security reasons but because "in our society you have to be able to see each other".

One of the main themes of the bill is a shift from the current 'target group' approach to holding individuals responsible for their own integration. Although parliament generally supported this, the minister himself was subject to a great deal of criticism from the opposition.

Green Left MP Tofik Dibi called the bill "a wrongheaded story" and "reheated mush from the most elastic minister ever". Minister Donner was accused of simply attempting to please the Geert Wilders' anti-Islamic Freedom Party, on which the coalition depends for support. The Labour Party's Marcel van Dam commented, "He's torn between what he believes and what he has to say to placate his support partner."

Minister Donner replied that the politicians should have more faith in social processes.

"When I was at school there was a much deeper segregation - between Protestant and Catholic - and that has now disappeared."


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide



Anon 1 July 2011 - 10:40am / Netherlands

"Not for security reasons but because "in our society you have to be able to see each other".
So why do the riot Police and other Police squads cover up their faces so that they cant be identified?. Are they not part of Dutch society or are they above it on some higher plain.

Daniel Draper 23 August 2011 - 9:41pm / Canada

Duh... You surely must be joking?? The police have every right to protect themselves from idiots that throw rocks, glass, and even use knives and other weapons. The police are there to protect YOU, !!! You must be an idiot to ask a stupid question like that!
I have been to Holland many times, but haven't gone back since I was cursed and spit on by a group of MUSLIMS on the Rokin in Amsterdam.

But the police have always been polite, and seemingly dedicated to their duty. WHY would you question their intentions just because they are protecting themselves, what were you doing there anyway??? Throwing rocks?

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