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Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll

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Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.
10:11 CEST+02:00
A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

The “Deutschland Trend” poll for broadcaster ARD surveyed more than 1,000 people between Tuesday and Wednesday and asked what they thought about the proposal for Germany to ban full-body veils worn by Muslim women.

A little more than half (51 percent) of respondents said that they approved of having a general ban on burqas or niqabs in public, while about one-third were for a partial ban in public places like schools or public offices.

That means that in total, 81 percent were in favour of some form of ban on the burqa.

Meanwhile, 15 percent said they objected to a burqa ban as a matter of principle.

The German government is currently considering a restriction on burqas as part of measures to combat terrorism. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière last week proposed a partial ban in public offices, schools, in court or other such places where showing one's face "is necessary for our society's coexistence”.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also criticized the apparel last week.

“From my point of view, a completely covered woman has almost no chance of integrating herself in Germany,” Merkel told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

But critics have said such a ban has nothing to do with fighting terrorism, and that the policy could hinder integration rather than help it.

Teachers' union German Education and Science Workers' Union (GEW) said earlier this week that a ban in schools and universities in particular hurts women from conservative families and their educational opportunities.

“We cannot exclude women from education just because they are wearing the burqa or niqab,” a GEW spokeswoman told Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

“During class, they can start to develop self-confidence, which is something that is necessary in order to take off the veil against family tradition. We should encourage this kind of transformation process, not hinder it.”

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