The Netherlands has passed a law banning Islamic face veils, and any other garments that cover the face, in public places including schools, hospitals and government buildings.
Lawmakers in Dutch parliament cited security reasons when they introduced the legislation which outlaws all face-covering clothing in public buildings.
The ban does not apply to public streets, although police can ask an individual to remove face-covering clothing for identification.
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RT reports: Motorcycle helmets and ski-masks are included in the ban and people who break the new law face a fine of up to €410 ($430).
The bill was approved by the Lower House in 2016, following the failure of efforts to impose a more general ban on burqas and other face-covering veils. The Dutch government’s main advising body in 2015 said the choice to wear an Islamic veil is protected by the constitutional right to freedom of religion, and that it saw no ground to limit that right.
Staunch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders welcomed the passing of the new law on Twitter, tweeting a screengrab of an article about the issue along with the message: “Adopted!”
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) June 26, 2018
Wilders has long campaigned for a ban on face veils, originally tabling a motion seeking to have them outlawed more than 10 years ago.
The Dutch government describes the new law as “religion-neutral” and it does not extend as far as more comprehensive bans in neighboring France and Belgium.