An official in Holland’s biggest city wants to introduce legislation that would ban unemployed women who wear a burqa from receiving welfare payments if it prevents them from finding a job.
The issue is the latest Dutch soul-searching over its relations with its own immigrants.
Ahmed Aboutaleb has proposed introducing legislation that would allow the city to cut welfare payments to women who insist on wearing a burqa if it can prove the full-body covering is the reason she can’t find a job.
“Nobody wants to hire someone with a burqa,” he told the Dutch women’s magazine Opzij. “In that case, I say: off with the burka and apply for work. If you don’t want to do that, that’s fine, but you don’t get a benefit payment.”
Aboutaleb, a member of Amsterdam’s Labor Party (PvdA) and a Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, made the comments in response to a recent ruling by Holland’s Equality Commission siding with a Muslim woman who refused to shake hands with men at work.