THE HAGUE, September 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The Dutch government on Friday agreed to introduce a formal ban on the wearing of the burqa in public places. The burga is the traditional Muslim women's clothing, which completely hides the head and body. Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner broke the news to the media after the traditional Friday meeting of the Cabinet.
The Dutch government decided that "the wearing of clothing covering the face is basically inconsistent with the nature of social relations in the country."
"Even if this measure to some extent limits the freedom of religion, it is necessary and justified in order to protect the foundations of social life in the Netherlands," they said.
After legal coordination the bill will be submitted to the national parliament for adoption. If the legislators agree, the ban will acquire the force of law and the abusers will face a fine. According to some sources it will be around 380 euros.
If the law comes into force, the Netherlands will be a third European country after France and Belgium to have banned the burga. This ban shall not apply to transit passengers traveling through the Netherlands by plane or other means of transport.
The Netherlands, with a population of 16.7 million, has a Muslims community of one million.