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Why Politicians Should Get Out of Women's Wardrobes

Why Politicians Should Get Out of Women's Wardrobes

By Yvonne Ridley

WHILE Muslims are being banned from America on the basis of nationality in Europe we are being targeted by law for what we wear.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Belgium's ban on face veils does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights.

 I am deeply dismayed.

The ruling last month came about following a case brought by two women who wanted to wear the niqab which covers all but the eyes after Belgium banned the wearing of partial or total face veils in public in 2011. Belgian MPs insist they voted for the ban on the grounds of security.

Security? Really? How many gangs of violent nikabis are there roaming the streets of Belgium holding up banks, assaulting innocent bystanders and spreading terror on the streets? This is hysterical nonsense being whipped up at a time when the far right is on the rise across Europe despite their failure to succeed in elections.

Nikabis are seen as an easy and soft target and the reality is there will probably be less than 100 in Belgium.

The European court agreed that the ban sought to guarantee the concept of "living together" and the "protection of the rights and freedoms of others". The court came to a similar judgement on Tuesday in the case of a Belgian woman who was contesting a bylaw brought in by three Belgian municipalities in 2008 that also banned face veils.

Critics will say the veils are forced upon women by men. If that is the case then those poor women will not be able to go outside so how is that protecting anyone's freedoms and liberties?

From my own experience those women I've met who choose to wear the nikab are largely converts who feel it brings them closer to God. Personally speaking I would not choose to wear the nikab but I will defend any woman's right to wear it if that's what she wants to do.

An appeal against the rulings can be lodged with the Grand Chamber of the court within three months and I sincerely hope these women are encouraged to take this route.

Most people might not like the look of the nikab but then again many of us don't like facial tattoos or piercings but surely this is down to personal choice. More countries are following Belgium's ban across Europe reflecting the lack of tolerance there is in society today.

I would urge everyone to set aside any prejudices they may hold on seeing a veiled woman and think where this will all lead ... the next ban could affect you.

Remember, legislation done in the name of security usually means the trashing of our freedoms and liberties.

  (Sister Yvonne Ridley is an author and journalist living in the UK. Her latest books is called TORTURE: Does it work? Interrogation issues and effectiveness in the Global War on Terror. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Torture-Interrogation-issues-effectiveness-Global-x/dp/1782668306 )

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