German parliament backs partial burqa ban
Berlin: Members of Germany’s lower house of parliament have approved a law that partially bans the full-face Islamic veil or the burqa, the media reported on Friday.
The bill will prevent civil servants, judges and soldiers from wearing burqas at work, the BBC reported.
After the approval on Thursday, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the move to ban the burqa showed how far tolerance towards other cultures would go in Germany.
The bill will now go to the upper house.
Right-wing parties want Germany to emulate France where a total ban on wearing burqas in public places as has been in force since 2011.
Last December, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ban on full-face veils wherever legally possible, saying they were not appropriate in her country.
In February the state of Bavaria announced plans to ban the full-face veil in government workplaces, schools, universities and while driving, reports the BBC.
More than a million migrants. including many Middle Eastern Muslims, have entered Germany over the last 18 months.
The move follows several terror attacks, including one on a Berlin Christmas market that claimed 12 lives.
France, Austria, Belgium and Turkey have all imposed a ban in certain public spaces. Legislation supporting a ban is in progress in the Netherlands, while local bans apply in other nations including Denmark, Russia, Spain and Switzerland.