German state bans burqas, niqabs in schools
From Deutsche Welle
The government of the western German state of Baden-Württemberg agreed on Tuesday to ban full-face coverings, often known as burqa or niqab, in schools.
The new rule comes as the topic of Muslim face coverings has been hotly debated in Germany and follows a ruling by a court in Hamburg that reversed that city’s own ban.
Baden-Württemberg’s city council’s decision to ban full-face coverings, typically worn by ultra-conservative Muslim girls, matches the ban for teachers that is already in effect.
State Premier and prominent Green politician Winfried Kretschmann conceded that cases of full-face veiling in schools were rare, but said that nonetheless, a legal ruling was necessary for the rare cases. It might be rare now, but a ban will keep it rare.
Kretschmann said that full-face veiling did not belong in a free society. But he added that such a ban at the university level, where students are adults, was a more complex question. For now, the rule in Baden-Wurttemberg will only apply to primary and secondary education.