GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has conceded to her party’s demands for burqas and niqabs to be banned in certain social situations.
At the Christian Democratic Union’s conference in Essen, Merkel argued that “the full facial veil is inappropriate and should be banned wherever it is legally possible.”
The CDU party is now expected to pass a motion which would make full-facial veils prohibited in public places such as courtrooms, schools, and universities, as well as during police checks.
“Our law takes precedence over codes of honour, tribal or family rules, and over sharia law – that has to be spelled out clearly,” Merkel stated.
The chancellor’s stance is not entirely unprecedented, as she previously argued in favour of stricter guidelines on burqas and niqabs back in September. Merkel has recently faced harsh criticism from various political factions owing to her perceived mishandling of the Syrian refugee crisis. Her promises to get tougher on judicial policy will likely be seen as an attempt to appeal to her more conservative base as the country moves forward.
Following her speech, 89.5 per cent of CDU members chose to re-elect Merkel – an impressive figure, but one which in fact represents the lowest amount of support she has received from her own party during her reign as chancellor. No one came forward to challenge her candidacy, much as in previous years.
Although Merkel insisted that Germany had a moral responsibility to help out the thousands of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, she also conceded that it was unfeasible for all migrants to stay, and acknowledged that many of them would have to be deported. She did however remain unwavering in her outrage regarding the refugee crisis and the lack of international sympathy for the people of Syria.
“To be honest,” the chancellor seethed. “If a free-trade agreement with the United States of America can bring hundreds of thousands out on to the streets, but the barbarous bombardments of Aleppo don’t trigger any public protests, then something is wrong with our political standards.”