02 May 2017

'We are not burqa': German government sets out 10-point plan to define national identity

Germany’s government has launched a 10-point plan to define the country’s culture, starting with the statement: “Wir sind nicht Burka” (“We are not burqa”).

The interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, argued Islamic veils that cover the face run contrary to “democratic coexistence”, adding: “We are an open society – we show our face.”

The slogan has generated a mixed reception in Germany, with commentators calling it an “unproductive” addition to a charged debate and one newspaper asking: “What does it mean?”

It was revealed days after Germany’s parliament supported a partial burqa ban for women in the civil service, judiciary and military.

The moves are part of an intensifying national debate on identity and immigration ahead of national elections, amid a right-wing surge following the arrival of more than a million refugees. [The Independent] Read more