The Dutch government proposed a draft law that would forbid women from wearing Islamic-style face coverings in many public places, 10 years after a lawmaker who’s critical of Islam first suggested a ban.
Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk proposed the bill that will ban the wearing of facial veils in education and care institutions, public buildings and on public transport, the government said in a statement on its website Friday. The Dutch Parliament will now have to vote on the proposal.
“In principle, people in the Netherlands have the freedom to dress however they wish, regardless of the opinion of others,” the government said in the statement. “This freedom is only restricted in situations where it is essential that people can make eye contact in the interests of security or good service.”
A ban on facial veils was first proposed in 2005 by Geert Wilders, who leads the anti-Islam Freedom Party. France adopted a law banning veils in public places in 2011, meaning women with their faces covered risk a fine of 150 euros ($165). Neighboring Belgium also introduced a ban that year.