Friday, March 10, 2006

Dickhead Dutch

Europe is going mad. In 2004, France banned religious symbols from schools, claiming that items like headscarves, skullcaps and crosses were inconsistent with the principle of separation of church and state. I can’t believe they got away with it because their rule interferes with the principle of freedom of religion (and freedom in general).

Now the Netherlands is trying to pass a law banning all women, no matter what their age, from wearing burqas or niqabs (face coverings) in public. The Dutch parliament has already voted in favour of the measure, and now they are just waiting for the results of a study which is to decide whether the ban is legal under European human rights laws.

Dutch politicians are claiming that burqas and niqabs comprise a security threat. With that reasoning, we can expect a ban on trench coats, hoodies and violin cases to follow.

The Nazis cut off the beards and side curls of religious Jewish men in the streets to humiliate them. Forbidding a Muslim woman to wear the clothes that define her religious identity constitutes a similar humiliation and total disrespect.

In addition to the security issue, Dutch politicians have claimed that burqas and niqabs are insulting to people who believe in equal rights. I would be able to see their reasoning if women were being forced to wear the garments, but in an allegedly free society, forcing women not to wear them is an intolerable affront.

The Netherlands is moving away from being one of the most liberal and tolerant countries in Europe to being just another neo-fascist state.

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