Dutch schools and universities to ban burka
Dutch Education Minister says the burka, a head-to-toe covering worn by Muslim women, will be banned from Dutch education institutes.9 September 2008
THE HAGUE -- The burka, a head-to-toe covering worn by some Muslim women, will be banned from Dutch schools and universities, Education Minister Ronald Plasterk said Monday in a letter to parliament.
The minister is preparing a bill to outlaw the garb from mid-2009. He added that the rule will not only apply to pupils and teachers, but anyone entering the school or university premises.
Plasterk said the burka obstructs smooth communication, which is a major requirement for a proper education.
The burka, also known as a niqab in some traditions, is a wide dress covering not only the entire body, hair and neck, but also the face, leaving only a slit for the eyes.
All schools that receive government funding, including Muslim ones, will be obliged to enforce the ban, Plasterk said.
The news comes after Health Minister Ab Klink recently announced he is investigating the possibility of banning the burka from the healthcare industry.
The Dutch government is also preparing a new dress code that would see the burka and any other clothing covering the face banned from ministries.
The government is hoping that provincial and municipal authorities will follow this example.
A study conducted in 2007 said around 100 women in the Netherlands wear a burka on a regular basis.
[dpa / Expatica]
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