Geert Wilders' far-right anti-Islam Freedom Party, which props up the minority government in parliament, has demanded that the Dutch police corps enforce the face veil ban. The Freedom Party is supported by Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten on the issue.
Freedom Party MP Joram van Klaveren was speaking on Sunday in response to remarks made by the chief of Amsterdam's police corps, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg.
On a national TV talk show, Mr Aalbersberg said it should be left up to the police officer on duty to decide whether or not to write out a ticket for a Muslim wearing a burqa or niqab. The police chief added issuing a warning should also be an option. According to the police chief, this is a normal, daily part of police procedure.
"For example, a mother without a drivers license driving 200 metres to take her children to school, is a different issue than two people from Maastricht spending 3 days in Amsterdam after their license has been revoked," explained Aalbersberg.
Earlier, other police chiefs from various Dutch corps announced they did not intend enforcing the new law when it is passed.
The face veil ban in the Netherlands has stirred up a national debate. However, it is part of the Freedom Party's election programme and its implementation is part of a deal negotiated by the Freedom Party and the coalition partners, the conservative VVD and the Christian Democrats. Geert Wilders' party gives parliamentary support to the minority government.
The proposed law, which was submitted to parliament this week, stipulates that offenders would be fined up to 390 euros ($510).
The lower and upper houses of Parliament still have to vote on the legislation which will ban all clothing which covers a face in public.
If the ban passes through parliament as is expected, the Netherlands will be the third EU country, after France and neighbouring Belgium, to impose such a ban.
"Dutch burqa ban legislation row heating up" Expatica Netherlands February 5, 2012
"PVV: boerkadrager altijd beboeten" NOS February 5, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today