The lower house of the Dutch parliament overwhelmingly voted to ban face-covering veils in some public places Tuesday.
The bill passed the house in a 150-18 vote and will now go through the senate before becoming law. The rule will outlaw Islamic veils in public places such as schools, hospitals, government buildings and public transportation.
All kinds of face-covering gear, including ski masks and helmets, will also fall under the law. The burqa can still be worn on the streets, but anyone caught wearing it in the restricted areas is subject to a $431 fine.
“The bill does not have any religious background,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said when the bill was presented in May 2015.
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders called the results “a step in the right direction” and promised to push for a complete ban if elected prime minister in next year’s election. (RELATED: Netherlands’ Most Popular Party Wants Ban On All Things Islam)
France, Switzerland and Belgium have already banned full-face veils in some public places. Bulgaria set an $818 fine for wearing the burqa in September.
Amnesty International said the law was “part of a disturbing trend of intolerance, xenophobia and racism in Bulgaria.”
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