Conservative lawmakers in Germany on Friday proposed a partial ban on women wearing Islamic face veils in some public spaces, adding to the cultural tensions mounting in Europe over traditional Muslim attire. Legislators seek to ban the wearing of garments like burqas and niqabs — which cover a person’s entire face except for an opening that exposes the eyes — in public places such as schools, government offices and public registry offices.
“Full-face veils, as mentioned, we reject this. Not just the burqa, any full-face veils that only shows eyes of a person,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters during a press conference on Friday. “It does not fit into our society for us, for our communication, for our cohesion in the society. This is why we demand you show your face,” he said. The proposed ban, de Maiziere added, was also aimed at promoting security. Interior Minister Frank Henkel voiced support for the measure saying the face-covering veils “do not fit in with our understanding of a tolerant, free society. It does not fit in with our view of women.”
The proposal comes on the heels of several local mayors in France outlawing women from wearing the burqini — a full-body swimsuit — on beaches. So far, at least 10 women have been fined or thrown off beaches in Cannes, the first town in France to enact the ban, for having sported the controversial swimwear.
Read the full story at CNN.