Friday 18 September 2009

1000 Euros Hijab Tax in Netherlands

Muslim women should have to pay a $1,500 headscarf tax, a right-wing Dutch politician proposed during a parliamentary session.

It's time "to clean up our streets," Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders said.

"This is pollution of public spaces. Let us do something about this symbol of oppression."

The headscarf tax, which Wilders called a "head rags tax" at one point, was intended to "demotivate" people to wear Muslim attire, he said.

The money would go to women's "emancipation programs," he said.

The tax would apply only to Muslim women and not to women of the orthodox Christian or Jewish faiths who wear similar headscarves, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported.

Wilders was raised Roman Catholic and attributes his politics to "Judeo-Christian values."

He made his proposal during Ramadan, the Islamic month when the faithful believe God gave the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad, a time of fasting, self-reflection and extra prayer to teach patience, modesty and spirituality.

Other parliament members denounced Wilders' proposal. Minister of Housing, Communities and Integration Eberhard van der Laan called it "hysterical," while progressive Democrats 66 leader Alexander Pechtold called it xenophobic and racist, the Dutch news Web site reported.

The Court of Appeal in Amsterdam ordered Wilders' prosecution Jan. 21 for "the incitement to hatred and discrimination."

Britain banned him from entering the country Feb. 12, calling his presence a "threat to one of the fundamental interests of society."

Wilders' 2008 short film "Fitna," which he described as "a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization," was widely condemned.

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