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Politicians consider French-style burka ban

DDP/The Local · 28 Jan 2010, 09:23

Published: 28 Jan 2010 09:23 GMT+01:00

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After a French parliamentary commission ruled this week that the enveloping garment worn by some Islamic women is unacceptable and recommended a ban in schools and public offices, former Social Democratic parliamentarian, Turkish-German Lale Akgün made as case for a similar ban in Germany.

“The burka is a full-body prison that deeply threatens human rights,”she told daily Frankfurter Rundschau. “It would be an important signal for Germany to ban the burka.”

A burka ban in German should include schools, universities, and high-security zones such as banks and airports, she said.

But fellow party member and speaker for interior issues Dieter Wiefelspütz rejected the suggestion.

“We have a different understanding of freedom than the French,” he told the paper, adding that an enlightened Islam could not be forced.

Head of the parliamentary interior committee, conservative Christian Democrat Wolfgang Bosbach, told the paper that when the choice to wear a burka collides with other legally protected interests such as mandatory school attendance or Germany’s current ban on religious symbols in schools, then something must be done.

His party colleague Norbert Geis said politicians would have to review whether a burka ban in schools and universities would be constitutional.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile the Free Democrats' integration expert Hartfrid Wolff called the burka a particular form of discrimination that courts should not tolerate.

But environmentalist Green party leader Cem Özdemir said the debate overlooked the real conflict of integration, stressing that the number of women who wear burkas in Germany is low.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:09 January 28, 2010 by snorge
I agree with the ban. When I lived in Florida, a Muslim woman took the state to court over not being allowed to wear her Burka for her drivers license picture. Needless to say, she lost. Duuhhhh!!!

Allowing this to occur in Western societies should be unacceptable this day and age of International terrorosm. If you live in the West, you need to adapt. If you insist on having to wear this, then move back where you came from.

Very simple!!!!
10:39 January 28, 2010 by khassi
international terrorosm!!! rrrrrrrrichtig
11:09 January 28, 2010 by rugbycoach
Nothing to do with international terrorism..everything to do with Womens rights especially within Islam. The Namby Pamby politicians havent got a clue..The politicians think it is a choice of the women who wear it, in reality it is an instrument of Islamic control of women and their freedom.
12:36 January 28, 2010 by Mobishr
take it easy guys! do not jump to conclusions, Islam per se has no problem with woman's right in my opinion, the Burka is a local custom in many areas and this is why its shape and severity differ. Moreover, why do you think the Majority of woman are still wearing this nonsense in Afghanistan post Taliban? even when their men have been killed? mainly because they themselves want to wear it, more so for those who wear it in the West.

In my home country Egypt, which is a muslim country by majority, there is an ongoing debate to BAN the burqa! so it is not extreme in my view that other countries want to ban it. This nonsense burqa according to many Muslim scholars has nothing to do with Islam! it is rubbish, just that! and hence I'm an arch enemy of this rubbish and I would like to see it banned, despite being a muslim myself!

So hell yes, ban the Burqa! way to go Europe! my only reservation is on taking this thing and use it to spew hatred against muslims like is being done by far right parties across the continent. Hatred is bade, no matter who is the subject to it.
14:16 January 28, 2010 by Don Sharpe
Sure, hate is bad. Let's eliminate Islam as a threat to western culture and respect it for what it is, a religion of choice. I don't agree with Islam at all, and banning the burka seems a logical step in a truly free country.

Having all shop owners, cab drivers, doormen, banks and governments agree to refuse dealing with the 'burka bunch' would go 90% of the way towards eliminating the problem.
16:02 January 28, 2010 by Happybabe
@Don Sharpe,

you are funny. it seems ISLAM hijacked your bank balance and making problems for you everyday. please dont be so extream unless you have proper reasons.

the style of BURKHA varries from place to place. someone said that above. i agree. The concept of covering body for a woman basically came up to protect woman from sexual harassments. In Islam Burkha has nothing to do. ISLAM says cover your body so that your beautiful curves are not visible by other man except your husband. ISLAM says to man not to give any look to a woman with LUST. ISLAM does not say to cove the entire face like we see in this article. I would suggest you to know the real values before making statements
16:24 January 28, 2010 by Frenemy

Let me translate everything you just said into "Western":

jealous Arabs incorporating stuff into a religion in order to preserve their delicate egos (by using religious legalities to prevent their women from straying...instead of just being a good husband)!
16:50 January 28, 2010 by michael4096
I see two cases:

- women want to wear burkas in their own environment or even in public but no problem to anyone else or to society - who am I or who is anyone here to deny them?

- women want to wear burkas where they interfere with the normal working of society such as personal identification or where body language is important such as security areas or schools - not allowed - a society must function the way it is designed

other issues such as the rights of women are already served by law - in germany, a man cannot force his wife to wear a burka against her will. Fullstop. No need for further legislation
17:59 January 28, 2010 by stretch2549
i do not think any of us qualify to be able to tell others how they should worship. many people do not agree with what they believe the burka represents - an instrument of control over basic womans rights. However what for the woman who chose to wear this as a dedication to their chosen religion? how can we take away from them this basic right of religious expression, when it is not harmful to themselves or to others around them? I think that a lot of the people who agree to this ban, simply don't agree with Islam, or are not comfortable with it. For those people - you have the right to chose whether or not you also practice Islam and whether your children should practice Islam. you do not however have the right to tell other people that they cannot practice it themselves, or that they should practice it in a different way.

many are genuinely concerned for the woman who are being oppressed by the burka. In Germany - as mentioned by michael4096 - a man cannot force his wife to wear a burka against her will. I understand that this law is hard to police, as many women in such situations do not have the support in which to speak out against their husbands/family. How about these politicians spend less time on such a stupid debate, and more time on ensuring that the Islamic women who fall into this category, can have the support in overcoming their oppressors. But the issue here is not the burka and it is not Islam, it is domestic violence...
13:36 January 29, 2010 by Frenemy
"a man cannot force his wife to wear a burka against her will"

I think a few people here are mistaking "cannot" with "should not". The law has practically no effect on internal family dynamics/psychology. The socio-cultural influence that makes women wear burkas/hijab cannot be policed!!
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