Italy has followed France and Belgium and has drafted a law banning the Muslim ’burqa’ veil in public, while terrorists are threatening Belgium for the ban, instituted for security reasons.
The ban in Belgium took effect two weeks ago and has drawn threats from terrorists, according to the American-based SITE Monitoring Service. It reported that jihadist Internet sites are inciting for bombing, torturing and murdering Belgians.
Western countries have been increasingly wary of veiled women in public places, where security officials cannot identify them. The bill in Italy, which will be voted on after the legislature’s summer recess, carries a fine of up to $4,000 for covering a face in public and $43,000 for anyone who forces women to do so.
The new bill removes religious exemptions from a current law that prohibits using clothes to conceal one’s identity.
Spain, Holland and Germany are considering similar measures. Many opponents to the burqa have campaigned against the veil because they say it degrades women and mocks equality. The sponsor of the Italian bill is none other than a Muslim woman, Souad Sabi, who has said the burqa is a symbol against the liberation of women,
Other Muslims in Italy, such as the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, castigated the bill as one that is “unjust and violates individual liberty.” Muslim proponents of the veil are complaining that the bill, if enacted into law, would prevent veiled Muslim women from leaving their homes.