Wednesday

31st Aug 2016

Flemish nationalist offers anti-burqa reward

  • Contrasting attire in London: Belgium and France banned the full veil last year, even though few Islamic women wear burqas in Europe (Photo: fabbio)

The European Network Against Racism (Enar), an NGO based in Brussels, has condemned a Flemish nationalist for offering a reward of €250 to anybody who reports Burqa-wearing women to the Belgian police.

Filip Dewinter, from Belgium's right wing Vlaams Belang party, announced the initiative on Tuesday (5 June) after police arrested a 24-year old Burqa-clad woman in Brussels for refusing to remove her veil.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Belgium, like France, banned the full face veil last year, with offenders facing up to €150 in fines.

Belgian authorities say the law applies to anyone who partly or entirely covers their face in a public area whether using an Islamic veil or any other mask.

For his part, De Winter claims police are hesitant to enforce the ban in case it provokes civil unrest and says his reward will put pressure on authorities to do their job.

The NGO says the law in practice stigmatises a specific religious minority.

"This latest action supported by Vlaams Belang chief Filip Dewinter further confirms the racist and xenophobic nature of this party ... [It] is clearly in violation of EU and Belgian laws prohibiting incitement to hatred and discrimination," Enar chairman Chibo Onyej said.

Meanwhile, an Islamist group called Sharia4Belgium on Sunday held a protest in Brussels city centre against the young woman's arrest.

Police in turn arrested 13 members of the group for public disturbance.

Belgium's Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, a state financed institution, has criticised both Sharia4Belgium and Dewinter for inciting hatred.

Dewinter in April launched a website inciting people to denounce migrants who work on the black. The site was modelled on a similar one launched in the Netherlands by populist politician Geert Wilders.

At the time, the Centre likened Dewinter's initiative to Nazi practices in the 1930s and to the Stasi secret police in east Germany in the Communist period.

Warning over Europe's sugar-guzzling habits

Europeans get through a huge amount of sugary drinks, causing serious risks to their health, a study backed by anti-obesity campaigners suggests. But southern Europe has seen a marked decline in consumption.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EuridThe 2016 .eu Web Awards is a Chance to Make Dreams Come True so Vote Today !
  2. Nordic CouncilNordic-Baltic Co-operation Vital in Turbulent Times
  3. GoogleBrussels: Home of Beer, Fries, Chocolate and Google’s Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  4. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students to China for ICT Training
  5. EFASpain is Not a Democratic State. EFA Expresses Solidarity to A. Otegi and EH Bildu
  6. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  7. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  8. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  9. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Applies Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  10. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  11. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  12. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER

Latest News

  1. Spain's Rajoy faces uphill battle to win MPs' support
  2. Russia and Turkey restart talks on EU gas pipeline
  3. MEPs call for reconciliation with Turkey
  4. Egypt blames EU-Turkey deal for refugee spike
  5. EU dithering aggravated refugee crisis, Merkel says
  6. Verheugen did not think VW cheating was morally possible
  7. Greece and EU to tackle labour market reform
  8. EU's €13bn tax decision angers Ireland, US, and Apple