The Dutch government will announce over the next few weeks whether it will make it a crime to wear traditional Islamic dress which covers the face apart from the eyes.
The Dutch parliament has already voted in favour of a proposal to ban the burqa outside the home, and some in the government have thrown their weight behind it....
"We don't want women to be ashamed to show who they are. Even if you have decided yourself to do that, you should not do it in Holland, because we want you to be integrated, assimilated into Dutch society. If people cannot see who you are, or see one inch of your body or your face, I believe this is not the way to integrate into our society."...
Mr Wilders' name was included on a list of "infidels, who deserved to be slaughtered", which was found pinned to the body of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.
Van Gogh was murdered two years ago for making the film about women and Islam called "Submission". It starts with a shot of a woman's face covered by a burqa. Slowly the camera shows that, from the neck downwards, she's naked but for a thin veil.
Mr Wilders has explicitly linked his wish for a burqa ban with terrorism.
"We have problems with a growing minority of Muslims who tend to have sympathy with the Islamo-fascistic concept of radical Islam," says Mr Wilders.
"That's also a reason why everybody should be identifiable when they walk on the street or go to a pub or go into a restaurant or whatsoever."
January 16, 2006
Says Dutch VP Geert Wilders explaining the criminalization of traditional Islamic dress: