Sunday

26th Feb 2017

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.

Dutch plan global fund for safe abortion

The Dutch want to lead efforts to make up the shortfall in aid for safe abortions around the world, after Donald Trump announced the US would not fund such projects.

EU to tighten rules on social benefits

EU citizens working away from their home countries will face tougher hurdles if they need to claim benefits, under plans from the commission.

Europeans still blaming women for rape

One in four Europeans think rape can be justified in certain circumstances, while one in five say violence against women is often provoked by the victim.

Visual Data

EU farming policy: The damage done by 20 years of inertia

The EU Commission will ask the public later this week how the common agricultural policy should be overhauled. Data from the past two decades reveals a catalogue of missed chances and failed reforms.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  4. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  5. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  6. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  7. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  9. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  10. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations