Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Niqab Story

I noted a couple of days ago....the Rhineland Pfalz CDU politician Julia Klockner was in the news....where a Islamic Imam refused to shake her hand when she was touring a refugee camp in the Pfalz.

Well, today.....she got back into the news again.  She's come out with the idea that Germany needs a law which bans the full facial covering for Islamic women.  No Niqab.  You can have the hair covering....but not the facial covering.

She notes in her comment that by the Basic Law....you have freedom of religion and no one is going to take that away from you.  But she also notes that the equality of women cannot be concealed or hidden.

Things are heating up slightly in the Pfalz because of the state election in March of 2016.  Klockner is likely to get some interest generated with her Imam handshake refusal and the suggestion of banning the Niqab.   It may fly against Chancellor Merkel's themes and the general persuasion of the CDU/SPD position in Berlin......but this is state politics and anything is possible.

The general German feeling on facial coverings?  In smaller towns across the country.....most Germans will say that they've never seen anyone with facial coverings except when passing through the Frankfurt Airport.  In the more urban areas....like Wiesbaden or Frankfurt.....especially in the shopping district.....you will likely see twenty women on an average Saturday morning in Niqabs.  You might even see a couple sitting at some coffee shop and gently lifting the Niqab to sip Espresso or coffee.

It would be difficult to gauge the German public attitude on this.  School teachers definitely don't want to see young women showing up for classes in the Niqab.  Older Germans (my humble guess) by a rate of ten to one....probably oppose the Niqab fashion.  Even among Syrians who packed up and left Syria....I'd take a guess that more than fifty percent of them aren't exactly thrilled about the Niqab idea.

Oddly, among the dozen-odd campaign issues for Pfalz politics in 2016.....the Niqab might be one of the important issues.

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