25 August 2016

German Leaders Are Split Over Proposed Burqa Ban

“The way to integration beyond the burqa lies through education and emancipation, and sweeping bans inhibit that process,” one politician says.

A heated debate over the public dress of Muslim women has engulfed much of Europe’s consciousness after Cannes, the famous French Riviera beach town, first announced its ban on the “burkini” on July 28.

Twenty-five towns in France have followed the resort city’s lead, and public officials from Prime Minister Manuel Valls to National Front leader Marine Le Pen have further stoked the flames by lending their support to the controversial ban. A majority of the French public agrees, according to a recent survey conducted by Ifop that found 64 percent of respondents opposed the use of the swimwear.

While France may be the center of this debate, it is far from the only country in Europe that has taken a hostile position toward traditional Islamic covering, such as the hijab, which politicians often cite as an obstacle to assimilation and social cohesion.

In Germany, where there has been rising public disquiet over the integration of the more than 1 million migrants that arrived in the country last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing conservative bloc is now eyeing a ban on full veils. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more