Continental bid to remove veil in the face of Islamic extremism

David Charter; 6/4/10

Belgian politicians rarely agree on anything, but common ground has been reached on the veil. While French President Nicolas Sarkozy is encountering legal obstacles to outlawing the face-covering nikab, Belgium seems likely to beat France to bring in the first national ban in Europe. MPs on Belgium’s home affairs committee have unanimously approved a ban on garments concealing the whole face or making it unrecognisable, setting up a vote in parliament on April 22 that seems certain to pass. This would prohibit the full-body burka or face-covering nikab being worn in streets, public gardens, sports grounds and buildings “meant for public use or to provide services” to the public. Women who flout the ban will face up to seven days in jail or a fine of up to E25 ($36).