Belgian committee backs banning Islamic face veil in public
A Belgian parliamentary committee voted Wednesday to ban the full Islamic face veil, a move that, if ratified, could make Belgium the first country to enforce such a ban.
The lower house of parliament will vote on the bill on April 22 and it could enter into law in June or July.
Some lawmakers in France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, have called for full Islamic veils to be banned, although a top advisory board said Tuesday that this would carry serious constitutional risks.
The draft law proposes to criminalize wearing clothing that covers all or part of the face, including the facial veil known as the niqab and the full outer garment, or burqa, widely worn in Afghanistan.
The French-speaking liberals, who have proposed the law, argue an inability to identify people who have hidden their faces presents a security risk and that the veil was a “walking prison” for women.