Belgium to ban the burqa next week
Belgium will enforce a burqa ban from July 23 with a fine and possible jail time for women who wear it, joining France as the second EU nation to forbid full veils, Belgian media said Thursday.
The new law was published Wednesday in the kingdom's official journal after deputies approved it unanimously in parliament in April.
Offenders will face a fine of 137.50 euros ($195) and up to seven days behind bars. An estimated 270 people wear the face-covering niqab or the full-body burqa in Belgium.
France -- home to Europe's biggest Muslim population -- became the first European Union country to ban the burqa on April 11.
In France, a woman who repeatedly insists on appearing veiled in public can be fined 150 euros and ordered to attend re-education classes.
© 2011 AFP