Women wearing the Islamic burqa (full body cloak) or niqab (face veil) in public will soon be subject to a maximum fine of 380 euros. The planned measure is to be discussed by the Dutch cabinet on Friday.
A 'burqa ban' formed part of the minority Dutch government's programme agreed with the populist Freedom Party (PVV) on whose parliamentary support the cabinet relies.
Rather than singling out burqas and niqabs, the senior partner in the coalition, the conservative VVD, is in favour of a general ban on people wearing clothes that cover the face including balaclavas and helmets with opaque visors. On the VVD website, it is argued that people can find such clothing threatening. The extent of the ban will become clear after Friday's cabinet meeting.