Should Utrecht Ban Burqa?

I think it is reassuring that in the 21st Century, Utrecht, will not be giving top  priority to enforcing the proposed new anti-burqa law, especially when there are so many more important things to worry about. Aside from the fact that it is a fundamental attack on religious freedom.

Following the example of Amsterdam, and the municipality of Rotterdam, Utrecht does not intend to actively enforce the burqa ban, says a spokesman for the municipality of Utrecht.

Last Friday, the Amsterdam mayor said he did not intend to enforce the new law. This law ensures that the wearing of face-covering clothing such as burqas, nikabs, and balaclavas on public transport, in care, education and government buildings are no longer permitted. According to the mayor, it is not a top priority given the capacity problems of the police in the city.

The municipality of Utrecht it seems, feels the same as the capital .

 “We do not give enforcement of this law the highest priority,”

Unless there is a threat to public order, when  action will be taken, they will look at it on a case-by-case basis.

Typically, the VVD on the Utrecht city council feels that Utrecht is sending the wrong signal. They feel that if the “offence” occurs then the police have to act, “The law applies in the Netherlands and the last time I checked it, Utrecht was in the Netherlands. The rule of law is not a menu that you can shop.”

But GroenLinks, the largest party in Utrecht, does not agree with this. Chairman of the board Heleen de Boer feels that this is not something that you have to prioritize, especially as there is hardly anyone with a burqa walking around in Utrecht.

The Boerkawet was approved by the Senate last June. Whoever breaks the rules can get a fine of more than 400 euros. When the law will actually come into force, is still unclear. Minister Kajsa Ollongren has yet to announce this.

What do you think?

Is the burqa a religious symbol or a cultural one?

Should the state dictate what people should wear?

Get in touch below with your opinions.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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