Published on Jun 6, 2012 by SDAMatt2a
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes
Belgian right-wingers have offered a bounty of €250 ($325) to anyone who reports a veiled woman to police, they said Tuesday after last week’s riots in Brussels over the arrest of a woman wearing a niqab.
Filip Dewinter, a senior figure in Vlaams Belang, a right-wing party, said the violence had made police apprehensive about enforcing the burka ban and the payment should put pressure on authorities to further enforce it.
“It’s a textile prison for the women who have to live under it,” he said.
Last week, protesters hurled bins and metal barriers at a police station after Stéphanie Djato, 24, was arrested for refusing to remove her face veil.
“They tried to enter by force, but they were not able to,” a spokesman for Brussels police told broadcaster RTL.
“So instead they threw metal barriers and bins.”
Ms. Djato, who was waiting at a streetcar stop, scuffled with officers after she refused to show them any ID. During the mêlée, a policewoman was injured.
“Finally, the woman’s veil was removed and she was taken to hospital with mild concussion,” a police spokesman told Le Soir newspaper.
The violence broke out when Ms. Djato’s husband went to the police station to complain, accompanied by about 20 others. Police are investigating and arrested 13 members of the Islamist group Sharia4Belgium Sunday,
Meanwhile, Ms. Djato has launched a civil suit against the police for their attack on her modesty and the injuries she suffered. Her lawyer said she is currently in hospital. This is not related to her recent injuries, but because she is having a heart operation later this month.
A Brussels police spokesman said he was unaware of the money being offered, but said any officer who sees a woman wearing a niqab would issue a penalty. “When someone is breaking the law we always have to intervene, demonstrations or no, the niqab is prohibited,” he said.
Women in Belgium risk a maximum fine of €150 ($195) if they wear a full face veil in public. Belgium and France both banned the wearing of such veils in public last year.
According to newspaper reports, Ms. Djato was born in Belgium to a Cameroonian mother and a Belgian father. She converted to Islam four years ago and chose to wear the face-covering niqab.
Mr. Dewinter said he was not aware how many people had already responded to the offer of a bounty.
A spokeswoman for Belgium’s federal police said the legality of the bounty was a question for the judiciary.