Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maizière will reportedly introduce a series of measures aimed at cracking down on terror after a recent flurry of attacks has left many in the country skittish. According to reports in the German media cited by The Guardian, de Maizière will propose several initiatives, most notably a federal ban that would prohibit women from wearing the burqa or niqab in public. The two garments are commonly worn by traditional Muslims and feature veils that, save for an eye opening, completely cover a wearer’s face. Led by de Maizière, the interior ministry will reportedly seek to turn the proposals into law prior to the 2017 elections. The interior minister is not the first in Germany to propose such a ban. Jens Spahn, a rising star from the same political party as Chancellor Angela Merkel, proposed a similar ban recently in response to a number of violent attacks by migrants within the last month. ISIS later claimed responsibility for two of the attacks.
France passed a law in recent years prohibiting women from wearing a veil that covers the face, and supporters in Germany are calling for something similar, but not everyone sees such a measure as being effective or just. Gökay Sofuoglu, national chair of Germany’s Turkish community, blasted the proposals as populist and impractical. “How would one go about putting that into practice?” Sofuoglu wondered. “Burqas are at the most worn by tourists from Saudi-Arabia.” Frank Tempel, deputy chair of the federal committee for internal affairs and a member of the liberal Die Linke party, said the proposed measures were a result of election-year politics and amounted to “pandering to the pub room chatter of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.