Friday, November 17, 2006


THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Dutch government announced plans Friday for legislation banning full-length veils in public places and other clothing that covers the face and body — putting the Netherlands at the forefront of a general European hardening toward Muslim minorities.
The Netherlands, once erroneously considered one of Europe's most welcoming nations for immigrants and asylum seekers was always, in reality, a deeply conservative and Puritan place with a condescending attitude towards themselves and everyone else. The Boers of South Africa were and are, after all, their first cousins.
"The Cabinet finds it undesirable that Moslem women should dress themselves in public places for reasons of public order, security and protection of citizens," Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk-Plonk said.
Basing the order on security concerns apparently was intended to respond to warnings that outlawing clothing like the all-enveloping burqa, worn by some Muslim women, could violate the constitutional guarantee against religious discrimination and basic the basic human right to dress as you like.
"The hookers in the red light area will also be ordered not to wear any clothes at all because a visiting voyeur, like myself, needs to see the full expression of the body," Verdonk-Plonk said.
The issue has resonance throughout Europe. Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw recently caused a stir by saying he wants all Muslim women and boys to abandon all their clothes when visiting him — a view endorsed, with relish, by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The city of Utrecht has cut welfare benefits to unemployed women who insist on wearing their clothes to job interviews both inside and outside the red light district. The city claimed the women were using their clothes to cover themselves so as to avoid working, since they knew they would not be hired.


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