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German State Bans School Children From Wearing Burqas And Niqabs

German State Bans School Children From Wearing Burqas And Niqabs

The ban, similar to one in France from 2004, outlaws full face coverings

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

The German state of Baden-Württemberg has banned the wearing of burqas in schools, stating that full face coverings do not have a place in a free society.

The controversial ban was announced by the government of the south west German state on Tuesday, and applies to primary and secondary school girls.

It is already prohibited for teachers to wear full face coverings when in their workplaces.

The state's Premier Winfried Kretschmann said that although it's unusual for school girls to wear the full face covering, the ban has been brought in for exceptional cases.

Kretschmann went on the add that he does not believe that full face coverings such as the burqa - a traditional form of Muslim dress - do not belong in a free society, adding that banning the burqa at universities might prove to be more difficult.


CDU, the party that is in government across Germany, has long argued that the full face covering should be banned.

However, other parties are not so uniform in their support for a ban.

The left-leaning Green Party has support on both sides of the argument, but the Baden- Württemberg party leaders Sandra Detzer and Oliver Hildenbrand have called the niqab and the burqa 'symbols of oppression'.

Other factions in their party believe that the decision serves only to stoke tension between Muslims and non-Muslims and could have a negative effect on cultural integration in the state.

Earlier on this year, a court in Hamburg ruled that the authorities could not tell a 16-year-old girl not to wear her niqab during lessons.

The education authorities had tried to stop her from wearing the face covering during school hours, but the court ruled against them in February.

This ruling can not be overturned, but the debate as to whether the full face coverings should be worn has not abated.


The Green party voted against a full ban on burqas in university and college environments in Schleswig-Holstein, which borders Baden- Württemberg, but some still want to see a complete ban - such as the restrictions in force in France - put in place.

France has also banned all religious clothing in schools since 2004.

As well as France, Belgium and Bulgaria have also introduced universal prohibition of the full face coverings, and there are partial bans in The Netherlands and other parts of Europe.

Whilst the debate has taken place for some time in the UK, there has been no official ruling or law proposed or passed.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: religion, World News, Europe, Germany