Dutch media is reporting a majority of parties in the Utrecht city council have instructed the city’s mayor to introduce legislation allowing municipal officers – including police auxiliaries – to wear the hijab as part of their uniform. According to the AD article:
November 12, 2021 Currently, police auxilliaries in the Netherlands are not allowed to wear visible religious symbols – such as a headscarf or skullcap. But the Utrecht city council decided on Thursday evening at the initiative of the [DENK] faction that this should come to an end. A large majority of the parties instructed mayor Sharon Dijksma to introduce this before the summer of next year at the latest. [Translated from Dutch using Google.]
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Police auxiliaries, ‘gemeentelijke handhavers’ in Dutch, have a wide range of powers and some are equipped with items such as handcuffs, batons, and pepper spray.
According to the article, councilors followed a proposal by Mahmut Sungur of DENK, who has called the adoption “fantastic,” adding that it offered a lot of opportunities and helped the profession to become more accessible for people with a migration background. The motion was passed with 34 votes in favor and nine against. DENK said that, with the decision, Utrecht would become a “forerunner of social change” and that existing policies in other countries, including in the US, Canada, and Sweden, worked fine. The national trade union BOA ACP has come out against the decision, saying that “uniform professions should radiate neutrality.” In 2017, the regular police in Amsterdam had considered allowing headscarves as part of the uniform, with the proposal being shelved after resistance by Dutch MPs.
DENK is a progressive Dutch migrant party with a strong pro-Turkish stance and which has met with a lobby group affiliated with Turkey’s ruling party. In May 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that former DENK chair and co-founder Tunahan Kuzu had participated in a pro-Palestine protest in the Hague where anti-Semitic slogans were shouted.
The wearing of the hijab is one of the most important issues for the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the proposed bill as including National Police officers––not only municipal police auxiliaries––and also wrongly stated that the Utrecht police union protested the motion, whereas the protest came rather from the national trade union BOA ACP. The article has been updated to reflect the above,