Dutch government’s Islamophobic anti-women plan

This 2011 video is called Burqa Ban: Muslim full-face cover now crime in France.

In the Netherlands, there are about a hundred women wearing what is called in the media a ‘burqa’.

Overwhelmingly, these are Afghan women, who, during the 1980s came, mostly with their husbands, as refugees from the pro-Soviet government then in Afghanistan, to the Low Countries. In the families of these women, the view prevailed that the Kabul government of the pro-Soviet Union People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, should be overthrown violently in order to replace it with a government interpreting Islam in a harsh way, including against women’s rights (as it later became under the Taliban, and basically is now, under the governments helped into office by George W Bush’s 2001 invasion).

Then, in the 1980s, no one in the Netherlands dreamt about yelling at those asylum seeking women: “Take off that burqa!” No politician proposed an “anti-burqa” law. The political Right, the allies of then United States president Ronald Reagan, saw Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and other fanatically religious people fighting “godless communism” in Afghanistan as valuable allies of NATO’s “free world”, including the Netherlands. While the political Left said that refugees, of whatever religious or political hue, should not be harassed.

Afghan chadaris

There is a big problem in all this talk of ‘burqas’ now in 2016. These Afghan garments are chadaris (chadris); not burqas. Real burqas are a different type of clothes for some elite women in Pakistan. There probably are extremely few women in Western countries wearing a real (Pakistani upper class) burqa.

The anti-burqa measures are also not really aimed at the small numbers of Afghan refugee women wearing, not real burqas, but Afghan chadaris. As we said, these women are about 100 in the Netherlands; maybe a few hundred more in a bigger country like France. Not even the most demagogic Islamophobe could make a credible case about the horrible dangers of “Islamization” out of such small numbers.

The anti-burqa laws are about intimidating the much bigger numbers of women wearing, not burqas, not Afghan chadaris, but other, less conspicuous, clothes rightly or wrongly considered “Islamic”, like headscarves. No, the aim of those laws is even wider: it is also to intimidate the big numbers of women, originally from Turkey, Morocco, as refugees from Bush’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc. who do not even wear headscarves. No, I should say, the aim is still wider: it is to intimidate the whole working class, “autochthonous” or “allochtonous” and to divide it along sectarian religious lines. A divided, intimidated working class, Rightists like ex-President Sarkozy of France calculate, would make it easier to take lots of money away from not so well off people and give it to extremely well off people like corrupt businesswoman Ms Bettencourt who financed corrupt Sarkozy and his corrupt political party.

‘Burqa’ banning politicians like Sarkozy basically are just as anti-women as Afghan warlords making burqas chadaris mandatory. Both sets of misogynists deny women their rights to decide themselves whether they want to wear a miniskirt, a maxiskirt, trousers, a chadari, or whatever. Both say: “That is not her business. That is my business!”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Dutch parliament this afternoon will talk about the bill to have a limited ‘burqa ban’. This means that people will be no longer allowed to wear face-covering clothing in public transport, education, healthcare and government buildings.

It seems that a majority of the House agrees with the plan of Minister Plasterk. Then the Senate must still consider it.

The burqa ban has engaged politicians in The Hague for a long time. The first administration of Prime Minister Rutte, dependent on parliamentary support of [Geert Wilders‘ xenophobic] PVV party, wanted a complete ban on face-covering clothing. That plan disappeared after the fall of that government. …


The Council of State says that the burqa ban is unnecessary. The advisory body of the government says there are many other opportunities to make people show their faces in the context of safety.

Also Annelies Moors, Professor of Anthropology at the university of Amsterdam, is opposed. She said this morning on the Radio 1 news that in the Netherlands no burqas are worn at all.

There are, according to her, women who wear a face-covering veil, but this group is very small. “About one hundred fifty daily, and between four and five hundred irregularly.”

It is a waste of time and money to take action against them, because these women generally cause no nuisance. The effect can also be that they are hampered in their daily lives because they will no longer be allowed to ride trams.

Dutch Prime Minister Rutte’s ‘Trump-like’ xenophobia, The New York Times: here.

ANGELA MERKEL SUPPORTS PARTIAL BURKA BAN “The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country,” the German chancellor said. [Willa Frej, HuffPost]

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