Germany bans civil servants, judges, soldiers from wearing Burqas

Published 28.04.2017 01:02
Updated 28.04.2017 01:04
emAFP Photo/em
AFP Photo

Germany's Bundestag lower house of parliament agreed to a draft law on Thursday that will prevent civil servants, judges, and soldiers in Germany from wearing full-face veils at work as part of security measures what they call a "precaution" to prevent extremist attacks.

The move comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel called in December for a ban on full-face Muslim veils "wherever legally possible". There are five months to go before a federal election, and her conservatives lost some support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) during the migrant crisis.

In February, the southern state of Bavaria, ruled by the Christian Social Union (CSU) - the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's conservatives - said it would ban the full-face veil in schools, universities, government workplaces and polling stations.

Germany is not the first European country to target Muslim women. Recently, Austrian government made a move to ban the full-body and facial veils, saying: "We believe in an open society that is also based on open communication. Full-body veils in public spaces stand against that and will therefore be prohibited."

Elsewhere in Europe, the far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) said it would also pursue a ban on burqa in their party manifesto.

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