Verdonk Seeks a Ban on the Burqa (10 October 2005)
Rita Verdonk, Minister of Foreigner Affairs and Integration will investigate the possibility of banning the use of a burqa in specific situations. According to the minister a general, nationwide ban is not possible.
Why? I’m no fan of the Burqa, but I’ve lived here since 1998 and have yet to see a woman wearing one. There are many muslim women in Amsterdam, mostly from Turkey and Morrocco, and mostly they wear a headcovering that doesn’t cover the face. Rarely have I seen a woman wearing something that covered the mouth, and I’ve never seen a woman wearing one that covers her eyes in any way.
So why waste time discussing this in parliament? I have two theories:
(1) The Red Herring. While we and the press are distracted with this nonsense item something else is being passed.
(2) The Bait and Switch. Proposing an extreme action, watching us overreact, then backing down to a more modest proposal that is allowed to pass.
I’m going with theory 2, Verdonk has used this before, for example her initial far reaching proposals for all immigrants to go through an integration course regardless of time spent in the Netherlands or whether they held Dutch citizenship. She came undone because the EU laws regarding freedom of movement.
I’m waiting to see what her real intent is.