The debate about banning the niqab and burqa for female students in Germany put on one side of feminists and conservatives. But with tough measures, not everyone agrees.
In Germany, once again sparked heated debates on the issue of whether wearing school students and students of universities of the Muslim clothes that completely covers the body and face – the niqab and the burqa. Some of the representatives of the feminist movement was unexpectedly the same opinion that politicians from parties of the right spectrum. And the hottest intraparty disputes are “green”, which have not clearly defined their position.
The reason for the discussion was the decision of the Supreme administrative court of Hamburg to allow the 16-year-old girl to come to school in niqab. The administration did not allow her in similar clothes before class. Judges based its decision on “unconditional defense of religious freedom”. The restriction of this freedom is possible only in case if they violate the provisions of certain legal documents, according to the ruling of the court. And since the schools act of the Federal state of Hamburg had not mentioned, and the restriction of the rights of Muslim girls is unacceptable, the court decided.
In Germany there is no General ban of the niqab and the burqa
A distinctive feature of the school system and higher education in Germany is that it is administered by the land authorities. Therefore each Federal state has its own laws in this field, and their provisions differ. So, the law of Lower Saxony 2017 fixed rate on the disciples by their behavior or appearance can complicate communication with other members of the school of life. Thus, a headdress covering the face, here was banned. Similar provisions are in the legislation of Bavaria.
At the Federal level there are only a few provisions restricting the wearing of the niqab and the burqa. Them, for example, are not permitted to carry officials of Federal and military personnel of the Bundeswehr. In ordinary life headwear that completely covers the face, not allowed to carry to drivers of cars.
Every woman wearing the niqab or burqa, is obliged to open her face at the request for identification. However, the General ban on wearing them in public space in Germany. In several European countries, for example, in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark, it exists.
In some lands they want to change the school legislation
The Senate (land government) of Hamburg, formed by representatives of the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD) and greens, intends to amend the school law.
The Senator’s Affairs school education of Hamburg Tis Rabe (Rabe Ties) of the SPD announced the imminent ban of the niqab and the burqa in school – both for students and for teachers. His view is supported Pagebank and Katharina (Katharina Fegebank) from the green party, the incumbent Vice mayor of Hamburg. “The burqa and the niqab are a symbol of oppression,” – said the politician.
The ban was also supported, and all three opposition parties represented in the Parliament of Hamburg, the Christian democratic Union (CDU), the liberal Free democratic party (FDP) and right populist “Alternative for Germany”.
Similar opinion is shared in several other Federal States, for example, in Baden-württemberg. Classes are based on open communication, and a closed face prevents this, says land Minister of culture and education of Susanna Eisenman (Susanne Eisenmann) of the CDU. She echoed Prime Minister of Baden-württemberg krechman Winfried (Winfried Kretschmann) from the green party: “I believe that in a free society it is necessary to show your face.”
In the green party there is no unity
Not all colleagues Krechman party have a clear position. Some believe that active speaking out against the niqab and the burqa plays into the hands of the right.
Filiz Polat (Filiz Polat), an expert on migration policy of the green faction in the Bundestag, points out that in a democratic society, a person can determine what religious symbols he wants to wear and which to refuse. Thus in the German Constitution there is no General ban on this account.
Just as the basic law does not say that a believer Muslim can be barred from attending school because of the specificity of her clothes. These are precisely the arguments used by Polat party in the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein, when they rejected a proposal to ban the wearing of the niqab and the burqa in universities of this Federal land.
Heated debates around individual cases
The issue of banning or allowing of these clothes not only of concern to politicians. For the President of the Association of German universities of Bernhard Kempen (Bernhard Kempen) the answer in this case is ambiguous. In his opinion, the wearing of a headdress that completely covers the face, is unacceptable in the workshops when students work in small groups. At the same time, says Kempen, lectures niqab and burqa not to disturb anyone. But the German Union of philologists in favour of a complete ban of the clothes both in universities and in schools.
Ates, Seyran (Seyran Ates), a famous German feminist and co-founder of the liberal mosque of Ibn Rushd Goethe in Berlin, believes that in the interest of preserving civil peace in schools should be banned there the wearing of all religious symbols, not only Islamic. As a scholar of Rome Spilhaus (Riem Spielhaus) warns that discrimination against those who wear the niqab and the burqa, supports radical sentiments among Muslims in Germany. In his opinion, instead, the necessary dialogue with such people.
What remains unchanged is the number of women in Germany who wear the niqab and the burqa. It is very small. This fact, for example, became a reason for land Bremen authorities to amend the school law. If there is no precedent, they decided, that while it is not necessary to change the law.