Sunday, June 10, 2012

Belgian Politicians Offer Prizes for Veil Informants

Right-wing politician Belgium has offered a prize of 250 euros to anyone who reports a Muslim woman wearing a niqab or veil to the police, a move that has attracted mixed reactions in European countries.

"It's a prison outfit for women who must live behind it," he said Filip Dewinter, a senior figure in Vlaams Belang, a right-wing party, at Reuters as reported, Wednesday 6 June.

This action came a week after a commotion at a Brussels police station after a Muslim woman was arrested for refusing to remove her veil face. Police in Brussels said they were still obliged to enforce the law in the ban on the use of face masks in public areas.
"When someone violates the law we must always intervene, there is a demonstration or not, the veil is still prohibited," a police spokesman told Reuters.

Women in Belgium are at risk of getting a maximum fine of 150 euros if they wear a face cover in the form of a veil or niqab in public. Belgium and France officially banned the use of veils last year. If a woman keeps wearing the veil, she will be punished with a fine of € 137.50 ($ 195) and up to seven days behind bars as a punishment.

Belgian Muslims are estimated at 450,000 of the 10 million inhabitants. About half of them are from Morocco, while 120,000 are from Turkey. It is estimated that around 200-300 Muslim women in the country wear veils.

The veil or niqab problem has invited various reactions in European countries.

"Everyone can do whatever they want when it comes to religious freedom and freedom of speech," a Muslim woman said Euronews.
"Everyone can say whatever they want. This is freedom of speech. He is allowed to say what he wants. And women can wear it, I don't mind."
Ramzi Zerqane, a Belgian comedian, taunts right-wing politicians about their movements.
"I consider this proposal stupid. But Filip Dewinter is known for making stupid proposals," he said.
"The only way I can react is to give € 2,000 to people who put burqas on Filip Dewinter."

The veil and niqab have been at the center of a fierce debate since France banned clothing in public places last year. After France and Belgium, several European countries, including Spain, are considering similar steps.

MuslimDaily/The Truth Seeker Media

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