12 August 2016

Despite CDU-CSU push, Germany can't legally ban burqas

Several German politicians have called on the country to follow France, Belgium and a Swiss region in banning full-body coverings. But Germany's constitution prevents this - and hardly anyone wears them here anyway.

Julia Klöckner's opinion is fairly typical of that of many politicians in Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU): "The full-body veil is not a sign of religious diversity, but stands for a degrading image of women," the party's deputy leader told the "Bild" newspaper this week.

It's not the first time that a conservative German politician has called for a public ban on the full-body coverings worn by some Muslim women - but the debate has resurfaced with extra persistence recently, even though very few women wear such garments in the country.

(The commonly used phrase "burqa ban" is something of a misnomer in a German context: The burqa, a loose cloak where the eyes are also covered with a mesh, is virtually unknown - though the niqab, where the eyes are visible, is occasionally seen.) [Deutsche Welle] Read more