The German Bundestag on Thursday agreed to a draft law that will prevent civil servants, judges and soldiers from wearing full-face veils at work, reported Reuters.
“Integration means that we should make clear where the boundaries of our tolerance towards other cultures lie,” the country’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was quoted as saying by the news agency. “The draft law we have agreed on makes an important contribution to that.”
The move comes months after Chancellor Angela Merkel had in December last year called for a ban on the burqa. Addressing a congress of her conservative Christian Democratic Union party in the city of Essen, Merkel had said the “full-face veil is not acceptable in our country”.
“In communication between people, which is of course essential to our living together, we have to show our faces,” she had said. Maziere had proposed a partial ban on the burqa even earlier, in August last year. He had then said the ban, if implemented, would apply in places “where it is necessary for our society’s co-existence”, including in government offices, schools and universities.
The ban comes at a time more than a million migrants, many of them Muslims from West Asia, have poured into Germany over the last two years, leading to concerns about cultural clashes and the scope for integration.