The Guardian reports:
Belgium today moved to the forefront of a campaign to restrict the wearing of the Muslim veil by women when a key vote left it on track to become the first European country to ban the burka and niqab in public.
The home affairs committee of the Brussels federal parliament voted unanimously to ban the partial or total covering of faces in public places.
“I am proud that Belgium would be the first country in Europe which dares to legislate on this sensitive matter,” the centre-right MP Denis Ducarme said.
Daniel Bacquelaine, the liberal MP who proposed the bill, said: “We cannot allow someone to claim the right to look at others without being seen.”
On that basis, Belgium will presumably soon outlaw the use of all closed-circuit TV security monitoring systems in public places; government officials, business executives and others will no longer be able to drive around in vehicles with tinted windows… But there is of course no escaping the fact that this move really has nothing to do with curtailing a fictitious right. This is yet another move in Islamophobia being legally sanctioned by a European state — with the audacious claim that it is being done for the sake of maintaining “an open, liberal, tolerant society.”