A court in the Brussels borough of Etterbeek has acquitted a Muslim woman who was taken to court for wearing the niqab, local media reports said today. The magistrate ruled that a fine for wearing the niqab was not in proportion to the offence.
Last year Belgium’s lower house of parliament passed a legislation banning the full veil, or burqa, but because of the current political crisis in the country the bill is yet to go before the Senate for its approval.
It is estimated that only about 30 Muslim women wear the burqa in Belgium which has a population of a about 450,000 Muslims.
See also “We need a law to ban the burqa”, Islam in Europe, 31 January 2011
Update: See “Local ‘burqa ban’ violates human rights (according to Belgian judge)”, Strasbourg Observers, 16 February 2011