Ban of the Burqa by the Dutch government

Islam has become a hot issue in Holland as in the rest of Europe because of the large Muslim communities whose young generation is disenchanted with its mode of life due to identity crisis and lost opportunities in education and jobs. (The highest unemployment rate is among Dutch citizens of Muslim origin, especially Morocco)

The ban of the burqa by the Dutch government shouldn’t come as a surprise. Morocco which is 99% a Muslim country has banned the hijab in school textbooks. The national airline company RAM has banned its staff from performing prayer during working time.

Such a ban may become a new symbol of the clash between Eastern and Western values in Western societies. Muslim women refusing to put off the burka should choose to remain in hiding if they don’t want to be seen or conform to the traditions of host countries. Burka is an invention in some Muslim circles. It is not a must in Islam. It’s evident from the Koran and Prophet Mohammed edits there is no obligation for women to hide themselves from head to toes.

But this ruling shouldn’t be seen as a campaign against Muslim values. In a separate incident the Dutch court ruled in favour of a Muslim Dutch female teacher of Moroccan origin who in place of work refused to shake hands with male colleagues.

It’s evident that there should be a separation between religious practice and the common law which aims at protecting citizens’ rights. If the burqa is a threat to public safety it should be banned.

Out of equality, if a man is banned from wearing a mask for security reasons, the same should be applied to women. It’s possible that a man with criminal intentions disguised in a woman apparel can slip through to carry a criminal act.

Tolerance should be extended from both sides. It will be sad to see people of different faiths clashing over matters that could be dealt with flexibly.

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