A German state has banned students in primary and secondary schools from wearing burqas in classes. The measure, however, will not extend to universities.
Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany has banned burqas, which are worn by Muslim women for religious reasons, and similar face veilings in a recently passed law. The ban stated that the wearing of burqas did not belong in a free society.
While announcing the law, State Premier Winfried Kretschmann admitted wearing a burqa was rear in the region. However, the law was passed in order to ensure that there is uniformity across all the state and school dress codes are observed. He also emphasized that the covering had no place in a free society due to its incompatibility.
The ban was passed through a bipartisan effort between the Germany ruling conservative party CDU and the green party leaders, with its state party leader calling the face veiling a symbol of oppression.
Kretschmann continued by saying that the ban will only be enforced in primary and secondary schools, highlighting that it would have been difficult to pass the law to include universities. The state has, however, a ban against teachers wearing burqas in schools.
The ban was anticipated to cause tensions between Muslims in the country as noted by many party members who voted against the member and impact negatively cultural integration.
In 2015, Germany’s Constitutional Court overturned a ruling that had stated that the country was banning the wearing of burqas by teachers. The court argued that the law infringed on citizens’ religious rights and hence struck it down.
However, states are also allowed to make their own laws and eight states already have a law in place banning teachers from wearing the face veils. Neighboring countries such as France and the Netherlands have also some restrictions on when and where to wear burqas.
Featured image by Pixabay