Ban burkas in schools, says minister

13th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 October 2005, AMSTERDAM — Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven is in favour of a ban on wearing burkas in school.

13 October 2005

AMSTERDAM — Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven is in favour of a ban on wearing burkas in school.

Writing in her online diary, Van der Hoeven said teachers and students should not be allowed to wear the all-enveloping cloak worn by Muslim women of Central and South Asia.

She was reacting to her colleague, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, who has asked her officials to investigate whether it is possible to outlaw the wearing of the burka in specific instances. Van der Hoeven said that education should be one of those instances.

Despite her enthusiasm for a ban on burkas in schools, the education minister said it had seldom or ever happened, as far as she knew, that a pupil or teacher has worn a burka to school.

Van der Hoeven cites a ruling by the Equality Commission (Commissie Gelijke Behandeling) that garments that cover the face can be banned "if it hinders communication and identification, or affects security in schools."

Verdonk said earlier this week that a general ban on the wearing of a burka in public is  not possible. But she wants to establish if the garment can be banned on security grounds "at certain moments and in certain locations".

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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