Prostitutes and druggies welcome – but no veils please
An editorial from today’s WaPo which highlights the hypocrisy of Europe’s increasing intolerance towards its Muslim minority:
Sometimes the bigots portray their crude attacks on Muslim beliefs and culture as a defense of freedom of speech — as when a Danish newspaper last year chose to publish gratuitously offensive cartoons about the prophet Muhammad. Sometimes they claim to be promoting better communication, as when British parliamentarian Jack Straw recently asked Muslim women to remove their veils when visiting his office. Luckily for the enemies of cynicism and disingenuousness, there is also the Dutch government — which no longer bothers to disguise its ugly prejudice.
On Nov. 17, just five days before Wednesday’s hard-fought general election in the Netherlands, the incumbent center-right government promised that, if reelected, it would introduce legislation to ban the wearing of burqas and other facial coverings in most public places, including courts, schools, trains and even streets. The ruling Christian Democratic Appeal party finished first in the voting, but the makeup of the next government remains unclear. If enacted, the prohibition would affect no more than a few dozen of the country’s 1 million Muslims, who make up some 6 percent of the population. But the point is symbolic: A country famous for tolerating prostitution, drug use, euthanasia and public nudity considers Muslim veiling beyond the pale.
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