Dutch cabinet backs limit on Islamic burqa dress

Dutch ministers back plan to partially ban burqa dress in state for Muslim women

Photo by: Public Domain
Photo by: Public Domain

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Dutch cabinet has approved plans proposed by Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk to place limits on the traditional Islamic burqa dress in a meeting on Friday.

The burqa, which covers the face, will be banned from Dutch schools, hospitals and on public transportation.

"Face-covering clothing will in future not be accepted in education and healthcare institutions, government buildings and on public transport," the government said in a statement after the bill was passed.

The government also said it "sees no reason for a general ban that would apply to all public places."

A breach of the ban, which stops short a total outlawing of the burqa as proposed by the previous cabinet, could result in a maximum fine of €405 ($470).

Muslim women will still, however, be allowed to wear the burqa on the streets and in private care institutions.

Speaking to journalists after the bill was passed, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the ban will only be enforced "in specific situations where it is essential for people to be seen" or for security reasons.

"The bill does not have any religious background," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies