Tax on Headscarves…Yes, Really

I’m sure a lot of you have heard about Geert Wilders, an infamous far-right Dutch politician who made the film “Fitna” and is responsible for a lot of anti-Islamic sentiment in Holland. He has compared the Qur’an to Mein Kampf by Hitler, and has also suggested it be banned in Holland. His latest bright idea is to introduce a tax on headscarves.

When I first heard about this my gut reaction was laughter, followed closely by shock. I mean seriously?! Tax women who wear headscarves?! His suggestion was a 1000 euro tax (!!) because he sees headscarves as something that “pollute” the streets. He also speicifed that it would ONLY apply to Muslim women who cover their hair, and not Christian women who do the same. So it’s obviously blatantly discriminatory.

To make things worse, he said all money from this tax would go to women’s emancipation programmes. It’s pretty clear then, what he thinks the headscarf means. In the past he has pushed for an outright ban on headscarves, because he sees them as the ultimate form of oppression for women.

Some quotes from the eloquent politician:

It is time ‘to clean up our streets. This is pollution of public spaces. Let us do something about this symbol of oppression.”

“We have had enough of headscarves.”

“If the tax is introduced we are finally going to earn some money back from the Islam.”

“The mosques, headscarves and Muslim men with beards and long dresses pollute the cityscape.”

So yeah, you can see what kind of man we’re dealing with here. The sad thing is that he’s very popular. His party has the most support in Holland, and elections are coming up in 2012, where he’s likely to win the majority of seats. If that isn’t dangerous I don’t know what is.

The only silver lining is that his proposal was met with ridicule and intense opposition in parliament. But what about on the Dutch street?

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