|Message ||Britain should follow the lead of our very sensible European neighbours, Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland.
n France, men could be fined £13,000 and jailed for a year for forcing their wives to wear a burka under proposed laws in France, leaked documents reveal. It is claimed that ministers hope to vote on a total ban on anyone hiding their face in public in July.
The French law would create a new offence of incitement to cover the face for reasons of gender, the newspaper Le Figaro reported. According to the paper, the legislation would state: No-one may wear in public places clothes that are aimed at hiding the face.
While men will incur steep fines and prison sentences for forcing their wives to hide their face, women would receive a much smaller fine of around £130 because they are often victims who are not given any choice, one of the proposed law's authors said. Women would not be unveiled in the street but instead taken to a police station to be formally identified, the draft legislation states.
The law would also apply to Muslim tourists - including the thousands of wealthy Middle Eastern visitors to Paris every year.
In Italy, a Tunisian-born woman has been fined for wearing a burqa, the first time such a penalty has been imposed in the country. Amel Marmouri was stopped by carabinieri officers in a spot check outside a post office in Novara in northern Italy and given a 500 euro fine, payable within 90 days. The fine was imposed under a city ordinance introduced in January in Novara banning any clothing which prevents the immediate identification of the wearer inside public buildings, schools and hospitals. It marked the first time the regulation had been enforced. Massimo Giordano, the Mayor of Novara, said the regulation was based on a 1975 national anti terrorist law making it illegal for men or women to be in public place with their faces covered.
A Swiss canton has passed legislation preparing the groundwork for a possible ban on the Islamic burqa. The local council in Aargau, a canton (state) voted overwhelmingly to work on a state initiative to make wearing the burqa in public places illegal. Most major parties backed the move.
Pushing the motion forward, the centrist and right wing parties in favour said the garment was a symbol of male dominance over women, according to the Swiss news agency SDA. The parties also said the full body veil prevents the integration of migrants into Swiss society.
Bans on the burqa are being mulled in other Swiss cantons, including Bern.
In the Belgian parliament, a vote against wearing face-covering veils in public was unanimously established recently. This legislation represents a major legislative step, which could make Belguim the first European country to impose such a religious prohibition. The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on the issue late April.
The Interior Affairs Committee representing all major parties were unanimous in backing the bill. The six parliamentarians from the MR french-speaking liberal party said the principle of "recognize to know" trumped other considerations in the issue.
"We cannot allow someone to claim the right to look at others without being seen," said Daniel Bacquelaine, who proposed the bill. "It is necessary that the law forbids the wearing of clothes that totally mask and encloses an individual," he said, adding he was not targeting the classic headscarf worn by many Muslim women. "Wearing the burqa in public is not compatible with an open, liberal, tolerant society," he said.
A recent event in Birmingham, graphically illustrates why the veil must be banned, and the police given absolute power to enforce this ban with zeal. A man wearing a niqab face veil has robbed a security guard outside a bank. West Midlands Police said The Group 4 guard was threatened by two men armed with a hammer who took a box containing a substantial quantity of cash. The incident happened outside Lloyds TSB bank on Coventry Road, near the junction of Cyril Road in Small Heath. One of the men wore the niqab and the other a white salwar kameez tunic.
Security is paramount. The veil must be banned immediately.
The modern countries forge on with social reform, enforcing open, liberal and tolerant societies, in which the right to criticize and be criticized without fear or favour is a fundamental right. Here in Britain, the politicians are too afraid of the PC brigade to preserve our traditional whay of life. The right to freedom of speech, which many would deny us, must be protected.