GERMANY – Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, suggested that Burkas, should be banned in the country wherever it was legally possible. The statement took place today at the meeting of her party, The Christian Democratic Union, where she was also elected as candidate one more time, for another four-year term.
The comments were made to a warm round of applause, in her 80 minutes long speech at Essen. The german state has been receiving a lot of backlash since supposedly losing control of its borders, so Merkel also took the time to made clear that it is a situation that can be solved and the Shariah law would not come first than the German law. Merkel herself faced a whole lot of criticism since last year when she granted access to over nearly one million asylum seekers from Muslim countries.
“Our law takes precedence over honor codes, tribal or family rules and over sharia law,” she said. “That has to be spelled out clearly,” said the German leader to the crowd during her speech.
None of that was an impediment for Angela Merkel to enjoy twelve minutes long standing ovation and to get elected by 994 party delegates that represented the 89.5 percent of votes, a smaller margin than the last leadership election. This may be the result of her taking actions like hardening policies about the once very welcomed Muslim immigrants and making it easy for criminals that were not born in Germany to get deported.
If she wins, she will become the third postwar German chancellor to serve a fourth four-year term.
Giving a voice for some.
Her position responds to the overall German population anxiety about the integration of Muslims. Not a surprise, given the recent incidents in Europe surrounding Islamic religions and terrorism.
The timing could also be a factor for her making these declarations. Her party is facing an increase of the popularity of the Alternative fur Deutschland, the competition, who has benefitted from the wave of anger over last year’s migrant crisis.
Experts suggest this will be Merkel’s hardest elections to this date. Polls already show a 12% of the national vote is currently on the AfD side.
The chancellor did not establish specific lines for this ban to be applied. She made remarks about people having to show their faces on Germany’s territory necessarily. This summer, the burkini, a full on body swimsuit for Muslim women, sparked lots of debate all across Europe. Merkel was one of the big names in favor of its banning. This time she also cited the impossibility of a woman to fully integrate into the society with her face covered.
Another high profile aversion to the burka ban from a German politician is the one suggested by the interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere. He implied it stops the communication flow and that the German language is not the right context to wear any facial veil.
The current status
Noticeably, fewer immigrants have gotten to Germany through this year. Especially since Merkel approved to pay countries like Turkey to take care of the immigrant flow and prevent it from heading towards the west, the central part of Europe. Merkel indicated that the results given in the recent presidential elections in the United States would mean an obstacle for migration policies worldwide.
“We are dealing with a world situation — and that is especially true after the American elections — in which the world must first sort itself out… Especially when looking at important things like NATO and the relationship to Russia,” said Mrs. Merkel during the speech.
Nevertheless, she called for the beliefs in freedom and equal treatment in future relations with Donald Trump, without calling him by his name.
The full banning of the veil actually goes against the German constitution, but Angela Merkel is at full capacity to find a way of making it happen somehow. Although she got a great acceptance of the idea inside her party, there are other sectors currently disappointed at her for not being a liberal values defender, as she was at first.
She has already deemed, schools, airports, and court as the top places to ban the burka and any facial covering. Traffic stops and police checks are the top occasions. If Germany moves forward with the prohibition, it would join the likes of France and the Netherlands, countries that will hold elections next year.
She also called out Germans for always ranting and protesting about Germany working alongside the United States in a free trade deal, but not doing anything to express themselves on the tragedy taking place in Aleppo.
Source: Christian Science Monitor