Conservative German state first to ban burqas
Hesse, a state run by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, on Wednesday became the first German region to ban Muslim face veils for public sector workers.
Hesse Interior Minister Boris Rhein announced it was “not acceptable” for the teacher in Frankfurt to wear a face veil because “public sector workers are obligated to have neutral religious and political views”.
The decision was prompted by a local teacher who had told her school she wanted to wear a burqa in the classroom after returning from maternity leave. She had not previously worn one.
Debates about outlawing burqas have spread across Europe after France banned the Muslim face veils.
A poll last year showed 61 percent of Germans favoured a burqa ban. Ban supporters include a Catholic bishop in Bavaria, and also the country’s most prominent feminist, Alice Schwarzer. But Germany’s interior and justice ministers have opposed a ban.
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