The German Parliament has approved a partial ban on face coverings which includes the burqa and the niqab. If the ban comes into force it will prevent civil servants, judges and soldiers from wearing face coverings during work. The law still has to be approved by the upper house of parliament before it becomes legal.
Officials who proposed the law come from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc. They argued that face-covering veil will make it difficult for a public servant’s identity to be known, thereby compromising their neutrality.
Very few women in Germany wear burqas and niqabs and so critics say that the law is symbolic.
The debate over banning the burqa is one that is prevalent in other European countries as well. France has issued a ban on wearing headscarves in schools and face-covering veils in public in 2011.
The then French President Nicolas Sarkozy had called the burqa a symbol of “debasement”. Studies say that the ban in France has brought more negative results than positive, and there has been a lot of controversy over French officials pulling up citizens for wearing pieces of clothing such as the burkini.
“ The full face veil must be banned wherever it is legally possible,” Merkel had said last year.
Also Read: Ban Burqa Wherever Legally Possible: Merkel