Buried at the bottom of an article about a new trial (on new terrorism charges) for the jihadist murderer of Theo Van Gogh comes the interesting news that women who can’t get jobs in Holland because they refuse to doff their burkas may now face cuts in unemployment benefits.
This is eminently sensible. The dole was created for those who cannot work because of disabilities or some other legitimate impediment, not for those who refuse to accept the mores of the society in which they live.
“New trial looms for Dutch killer,” from the BBC, with thanks to Van Impe:
Meanwhile, Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has proposed a ban on the wearing of Muslim burkas – full-length veils covering the face – in certain public places, to prevent people avoiding identification.
Alarm about Islamist terror has increased in the Netherlands since the Van Gogh murder.
A Dutch MP who campaigned with him against radical Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, defended Mrs Verdonk’s plans in a BBC interview.
She told the World Today programme that CCTV cameras, used to help track down terrorists, must continue to reveal suspects’ faces.
The CCTV operators “need to see their faces and if you cover your face you cannot be identified”.
She said the wearing of masks in the Netherlands was also prohibited except during festivals and under some special circumstances.
She said Muslim women were not obliged to wear the burka, and denied that some burka wearers would be confined to the home.
“We have to find a balance between civil liberties and security – and that debate is raging on in the Netherlands,” she said.
Last year several Belgian towns, including Antwerp and Ghent, banned the wearing of the burka in public.
Utrecht benefit cuts
The authorities in the Dutch city of Utrecht have reduced unemployment benefit for women who say their refusal to remove their burkas is preventing them getting jobs.
The measure was prompted by the case of two burka-clad women who said they did not attend job interviews.
Utrecht city council spokeswoman Sylvia Borgman said the 600-euro (Â£400) per month benefit was initially being cut by 10% in such cases. Further cuts would come if unemployed women continued to wear burkas.