Belgium has taken the dramatic decision to pass a law banning Islamic clothes that do not allow the wearer to be identified. Belgium is the first country in Europe to introduce such legislation and the action they have taken reflects a huge upsurge of Islamaphobia across Europe.
As we reported here previously France is now also considering introducing such a ban. People found breaking the new law, which in effect is a codification of racism and religious prejudice into law, could be either fined or jailed.
Vice president of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, Isabelle Praile, warned that the new law could be the start of a slippery slope.
“Today it’s the full-face veil, tomorrow the veil, the day after it will be Sikh turbans and then perhaps it will be mini-skirts.”
She went on to say,
“The wearing of a full-face veil is part of the individual freedoms” protected by Belgian, European and international rights laws.”
Amnesty International also condemned the move saying:
“A complete ban on the covering of the face would violate the rights to freedom of expression and religion of those women who wear the burkha or the niqab.”
With France and other countries seeking to emulate the Belgian move we could see these laws challenged in European courts. As for Belgium that country has conceded to racist sentiment and has taken a step a backwards into the dark ages.