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New Dutch integration minister rejects proposed burqa ban

[JURIST] Netherlands Minister of Integration Ella Vogelaar [official profile] told Dutch radio Saturday that she has no plans to implement a ban on the public wearing of the full-length Muslim burqa [Wikipedia backgrounder; JURIST news archive] despite two parliamentary votes supporting the prohibition. She told Netherlands Radio 1 that a ban would be counterproductive and disrespectful of Islam, and that in any case the issue was minor, as only some 150 Muslim women in the country wear burqas.

The idea of a burqa ban was initially floated [JURIST report] in late 2005 by Vogelaar's predecessor Rita Verdonk [personal website] and was eventually adopted as a cabinet initiative, but it faltered late last year after protests [JURIST reports] and a November Dutch election that installed a more liberal coalition that was officially sworn-in [press release] late last month. At least one Dutch lawmaker has said, however, that he will continue to push for a legislative ban. Dutch News.nl has more.

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