Belgian MPs vote to ban burqa in public

30/4/10; (2 Items)
Belgian legislators voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to ban the wearing of the Islamic burqa in public, paving the way for the first clampdown of its kind in Europe. In the lower house of federal parliament, 136 deputies voted to ban nationwide clothes or veils that do not allow the wearer to be fully identified, including the full-face niqab and burqa. There were two abstentions. No one voted against. The upper house of parliament has two weeks to raise any objections to the decision.


Wicked women make the earth move
Elizabeth Farrelly; 30/4/10;
A senior Iranian cleric says women and girls who dress provocatively cause earthquakes. ”When promiscuity spreads, earthquakes increase,” declares Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi, in a YouTube clip. To be frank, on the evidence, I think he’s right. Consider Kalgoorlie, its pink-and-white sheds-of-ill-repute lined up like coconut ice along Hay Street. Kalgoorlie was asking to be shook, and that its quake was a mere size five is straight commercial luck, miner outsourcing having shrunk the promiscuity business over recent years. They should be grateful. Women in the Iranian city of Bam, by contrast, where a 2003 earthquake killed thousands, must have worn nothing but their pearls for years. And what about Sichuan? Baja? Concepcion? Bad, bad, bad. I tell you. Cherchez la femme. But why limit gyno-devilry to earthquakes? What about volcanoes? Those Icelandic harpies must have been risking some very personal frostbite to command so sulphurous a response.