Bavaria’s regional government, led by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) has announced plans to ban the full-face veil in government workplaces, school, universities and while driving.
The capital of the state, Munich, has seen a large of influx of migrants since on the onset of European migrant crisis. A terrorist attack in July 2016 has resulted in 10 casualties, and caused increasing insecurity in Bavaria and rest of Germany.
Currently, CSU is facing a challenge from anti-immigrant, Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the latest announcement could be seen as a part of local government’s strategy for the upcoming federal elections.
The draft law, introduced on Tuesday, would see the niqab and burka banned in public institutions, most notably police stations where identity is of special importance.
Bavarian state Interior Minister, Joachim Herrmann, said communication is the “foundation of our interactions with each other and it’s the basis of our free and democratic order. Concealing your face is at odds with this culture of communication.”
In last 18 months alone, Germany has received more than ten millions migrants, mostly from Muslim majority nations. This has raised a number of issues related to problems of immigration and their integration into German society.
France, also one of the European countries coping with migration related issues, has banned the wearing of religious symbols in grade schools back in 2004, and enacted the ‘burka ban’ in 2010, making it illegal for Muslim women to wear face and body covering in public.
Germany’s liberal migrant policies have been criticized both domestically and abroad, as Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a decrease in popularity due to terrorist attacks and problems caused by migration.
Nevertheless, Merkel has defended multiculturalism and her migrant-friendly policies.