On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a burka ban “wherever possible” while arguing that German law takes precedence over sharia. The announcement came on the heels of her launching, and winning, another bid for chancellor. The Telegraph reports Merkel didn’t want to ban all burkas outright, though she did note in her speech they should be removed “wherever legally possible.” The ban would include citizens and civil servants alike, and would outlaw anyone from wearing them in public.
The call comes as Merkel is facing backlash for her “open doors” approach to the refugee crisis. Germany allowed 890,000 refugees into the country last year, and has also been welcoming to Hungarian migrants. Merkel said that, if re-elected, she would not let this happen again. Hence the burka ban, which Merkel ally and interior minister Thomas de Maiziere argued would open up more communication methods:
“We all reject the full veil — not only the burka but also other types of full veil that only leave the eyes visible. They have no place in our society… Showing your face is essential for our communication, co-existence and social cohesion and that’s why we’re asking everyone to show their faces. We want to introduce a law to make people show their faces and that means that those who break that law will have to face the consequences.”
Germany is another in a growing list of European countries that are outlawing burkas. France established a full burka and niqab ban in 2004, while Belgium, Chad, Diffa, Niger, Tessin and Switzerland have issued full bans since 2011. France even banned burkinis on coastal areas this past August. Meanwhile, fear of burkas and other religious garbs has been on the rise in the United States, where many Muslim women are fearful of wearing a hijab in a Donald Trump-led country.
Merkel believes the ban is part of a cultural revolution where you will be seeing fewer people over time wear them. In August she told several German newspapers, “a fully veiled woman has almost no chance of integrating successfully in German society.”
(Via The Telegraph)