Belgian Legislature Votes to Ban Burqa

Belgian lawmakers are taking on an extremely small section of the population—Muslim women who wear full-body burqas and veils. The country's lower house of parliament voted without objection Thursday to ban women from wearing any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in public, the BBC reports. Some MPs claimed it was a security provision to allow people to be easily identified, others that it was a stand against Islamic fundamentalism. But its value seems to be mostly symbolic—according to the BBC, only about 30 women—total—wear the kind of veil that would be affected under the bill. The Belgian Senate is expected to back the measure as well, which is under fire from Amnesty International as a "dangerous precedent" for discrimination.