Geert Wilders, the maverick Dutch anti-Islam campaigner, has emerged triumphant as the linchpin of a new right wing minority government that vowed to pass a ban of the burqa in the Netherlands, while pushing for a crackdown on Muslim immigration.
UK TELEGRAPH (H/T Maria) The Dutch government will agree to introduce a ban on Friday making the Netherlands the third country in Europe to prohibit the burka, behind France and Belgium. Women caught wearing a burka in public, on the streets, public transport and in schools or hospitals will be fined £330.
There will be exemptions for mosques, or other religious buildings and for foreign women travelling through the transit lounges of international Dutch airports.
Cabinet ministers will justify the ban with the argument that the burka does “not fit into our open society and women must participate fully.”
The Dutch parliament was the first in Europe to demand a burka ban in 2005 after voting on a proposal tabled by Geert Wilders, at the start of his career as an anti-Islam politician. But legislation was derailed by national elections and a change of coalition.
Since then and following elections last year Mr Wilders, whose Freedom Party has become the third largest Dutch political party, made a ban a condition of his support for the current minority government.
Even more important, the coalition will aim to halve immigration, emulate Denmark in making it difficult for the spouses and children of immigrants to join them, and deport immigrants found guilty of crimes meriting sentences of 12 years.