A Muslim woman’s benefits were cut by 30 per cent in the Netherlands after she refused to remove her niqab to help her secure a job. She has now moved to Britain thanks to EU freedom of movement.
The niqab is an extreme form of Islamic dress for women which obscures the face almost entirely, leaving only a narrow slit for the eyes.
The Netherlands’ highest administrative court ruled that Utrecht City Council was within its rights when it reduced the woman’s handouts. Whilst religious freedom rules allowed her to wear the veil, she was knowingly reducing her chances of finding gainful employment by choosing to do so.
“An uncovered face plays an important role in the contact between people and is essential in finding work,” the court ruling reads, according to the English-language DutchNews.nl outlet.
Having had her benefits cut in the Netherlands, the woman has since moved to England, according to the report.
The appearance of the niqab and the even more restrictive burqa on British streets has not been without its problems. In May 2017, members of an armed gang were sentenced for raiding jewellery shops and supermarkets and attacked a member of the public with a machete whilst disguised in the garments.
In 2013, Somali-born terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed escaped police whilst disguised in a burqa after cutting off an electronic tag.
In 2006, another Somali, an asylum seeker named Mustuf Jama, was able to flee the country on his sister’s passport wearing a niqab after shooting two female Police Constables during the course of an armed robbery, killing one of them.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is demanding the garments be banned in order to encourage integration and protect women’s rights as part of its election campaign.
“Just as we have been vindicated on the need to recognise the downsides of uncontrolled immigration and the hollowing out of our democracy brought about by EU membership, so we shall be vindicated on the need to be more robust in tackling extremism and defending British values,” said party leader Paul Nuttall when he announced the policy.
Bans of varying severity have been implemented or mooted in several other European countries including the Baltic republic of Latvia, which outlawed the veils in 2016, despite reports that only three women in the country were wearing them.
“A legislator’s task is to adopt preventive measures,” said justice minister Dzintars Rasnacs.
“We do not only protect Latvian cultural-historical values, but the cultural-historical values of Europe.”