A conservative German politician has called for a national burqa ban that would outlaw citizens and tourists from wearing full-body burqas and a face-covering niqabs. Ilse Aigner, the a state Minister of Economic Affairs, told the German newspaper Die Welt that the Christian Social Union political party had recently approved proposals supporting the bans.
“As I have traveled to Iran, I have obeyed the commandments of the country and supported a headscarf. Likewise, I expect women from the Arab world in this country to give up the full-face veil. Such laws are not just for people with German citizenship,” she said.
“Here is mainly about showing face. It is about the social life, the visible counterpart. It does not fit into our culture to hide — and it contradicts our idea of equality for women. The law should be quickly adopted by the Bundestag,” she said, referring to Germany’s national legislative body, according to a translation of the interview.
Aigner’s comments are the most recent in a string of calls from the CSU for a ban on burqas, and are part of a larger movement in Western Europe calling for laws that ban religious garb in public. In 2004, French students were banned from wearing religious symbols, and in 2010 face-covering clothing, including the burqa and niqab, were banned in public places.