19 August 2016

Islamic veils in Europe

As Germany on Friday proposed partially banning the full-face burqa, here is the status of the Islamic garment -- also known as a burqa or nijab -- in European countries.


Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere came out Friday in favour of a partial burqa ban. De Maiziere, one of Merkel's closest allies, said that the burqa ban would cover "places where it is necessary for our society's coexistence" including government offices, schools and universities, courtrooms, demonstrations and behind the wheel.

He told reporters that the full-face veil "does not belong in our cosmopolitan country", adding that it was "not a security issue but an integration issue". A ban would be "likely to win approval" in parliament, he said.


The first European country to ban the full-veil in public spaces with a law "banning the hiding of the face in public spaces", the law was adopted on October 11, 201O and applied on April 11, 2011. The European Court of Human Rights in 2014 upheld the burqa ban, rejecting arguments that outlawing full-face veils breached religious freedom. The law has resulted in around 1,500 arrests in the past five years. [Expatica] Read more