Europe is finally taking a stand with a decision to protect themselves from radical Muslims, and it’s about time!
Belgium has a pretty firm ban on full-face Islamic veils, such as burqas. Now that ban has been upheld by none other than the European Court of Human Rights.
According to the judges, the nationwide prohibition of the facial cloth, which went into effect in 2011, does not violate the right to freedom of religion, private/Family life, or discrimination law. Instead, the court found Belgium was within their rights to impose these restrictions in order for the “protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.
Its ruling said the government had been responding “to a practice that it considered to be incompatible, in Belgian society, with social communication and more generally the establishment of human relations, which were indispensable for life in society…essential to ensure the functioning of a democratic society”.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dismissed two separate cases – one appealing Belgium’s nationwide ban and another on a 2008 by-law adopted by three municipalities.
The first case was brought by two women – Samia Belcacemi and Yamina Oussar – who previously attempted to have the law suspended and annulled at the Constitutional Court in Brussels.
They both gave evidence on how the ban has affected their lives as Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab, which covers the face except for the eyes.
Ms Belcacemi said she initially continued to wear the veil in public but removed it over fear of being jailed or fined, while Ms Oussar said the law has forced her to stay at home.
The second case was brought by another Belgian woman, Fouzia Dakir, over a prohibition on full-face veils implemented in Pepinster, Dison and Verviers three years before the nationwide law.
The court found there had been no violation of her right to private life, freedom of religion or discrimination laws, but that Belgium had infringed her right of access to a court when the Conseil d’État ruled an initial application to annul the ban inadmissible.
In a unanimous judgement, judges ordered the Belgian government to pay the Ms Dakir €800 (£700) in costs.