Dutch to ban burqa

London, England - The Muslim women's body veil Burqa is likely to be soon banned in the Netherlands. It will be the first European country to legislate toughest curbs on Muslim clothing. The country's hardliner Integration minister Rita Verdonk, called the Iron Lady for her series of anti-immigration measures announced that she was going to investigate where and when the Burqa should be banned.

Sources said the ban would be applicable in shops, public buildings, cinemas, trains, bus stops and airlines, which means almost everywhere except the streets. Verdonk appears very determined despite realising the angry backlash of the Muslim community.

She said the " time of cosy tea-drinking" with Muslim group has passed and immigrants should have the courage to criticise each other. She has, indeed, been very tough and recently she cancelled a meeting with Muslim leaders who refused to shake her hand because she was a woman. The proposals are likely to get the approval of Parliament with the support of the right-wing group. Its MP, Geert Wilders had called for the ban saying that Burqas were not " woman-friendly". The Government will say the ban will in effect be a safety measure.

Islamic terrorism has become a big issue in the country after the murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a critic of radical Islam. He was stabbed in broad daylight as he was cycling through Amsterdam. The police investigating his murder allegedly uncovered a network of Muslim extremists intent on destroying the country.

The community is agitated over the proposal. Yassim Hertog of the Dutch Muslim School Boards Union said, " Can you prohibit someone from wearing a certain type of dress? They are trying to test what a government can forbid and how far you can trample on people's rights." The community leaders also said that hardly 100 women wear the Burqa.

Belgian cities, Antwerp and Ghent banned wearing the Burqa in public and have recently started £100 spot fines for breaking the byelaws.