The full-face veil is “not acceptable in our country”, the politician told her party.
It was just three days ago we told you that a ban on the burqa looked likely to go ahead in the Netherlands – and now another country looks set to join the list of European countries who forbid the full-face veil.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a national ban on the covering “wherever possible” as she addressed her conservative Christian Democratic Union party this week.
The politician, who is currently campaigning for her fourth term as the nation’s leader, told party attendees that “the full-face veil is not acceptable in our country”.
“It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible,” she added, as the crowd applauded.
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Her proposal comes just months after German interior minister Thomas de Maizière called for a similar ban, saying the Islamic veil was “contrary to integration”.
“We all reject the full veil — not only the burqa but also other types of full veil that only leave the eyes visible. They have no place in our society,” he said, according to The Independent.
“Showing your face is essential for our communication, co-existence and social cohesion and that’s why we’re asking everyone to show their faces.”
Merkel’s recent statements could be influenced by the German population’s increasing anti-immigration sentiment, the British newspaper also reported.
The country has seen an influx of around one million refugees since Merkel opened the borders last year.
The chancellor also told the party congress that the German refugee crisis “must never be repeated”.
“That was and is our, and my, declared political aim”, she said, while pledging to tighten asylum rules.
Where else is the burqa banned?
France was the first European country to ban the burqa – a clampdown on students in state-run schools began in 2004, and the law came into full effect in April 2011. Anyone caught wearing the burqa or niqab is fined €150 (Dhs749).
However Belgium, which introduced a similar ban shortly after France, goes even further – anyone caught wearing the veil risks being jailed for up to seven days and fined €1,378 (Dhs5,685).
For a full list of countries, click here.