The Dutch government has decided to ban the wearing of burqas and other Muslim full-face veils in public, justifying the move on security grounds.
This will make the
Existing legislation already limits the wearing of burqas and other total face-coverings on public transport or in schools.
The debate on face veils and whether they hinder Muslim integration has gathered momentum across
"The cabinet finds it undesirable that garments covering the face, including the burqa, should be worn in public in view of public order, and the security and protection of fellow citizens," the Dutch justice ministry said.
Last December Dutch lawmakers voted in favour of a proposal by far-right politician Geert Wilders to outlaw face-coverings and asked Verdonk to examine the feasibility of such a ban.
Because veils were worn for religious reasons, Verdonk had feared new legislation could come into conflict with religious freedom laws. But she said on Friday that this was not the case.
Dutch Muslim groups have complained that a burqa ban would make the country's one million Muslims feel more victimised and alienated, regardless of whether they approve of burqas or not.
Job Cohen, the Labour mayor of Amsterdam, said he opposed burqas in schools and public buildings, and said women wearing one who failed to get a job should not expect welfare benefits. more..