German lawmakers approved a partial ban on the full-face Islamic burqa Thursday along with a number of security measures.
The ban will only apply to public servants — including election officials, judges and soldiers — performing their duties.
“The state has a duty to present itself in an ideologically and religiously neutral manner,” the text of the law reads.
The law will now have to pass the lower house before being implemented. A number of European countries — such as France, Switzerland and the Netherlands — have imposed similar restrictions in recent years.
“Integration also means that we should make clear and impart our values and where the boundaries lie of our tolerance toward other cultures,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, according to Deutsche Welle. “The draft law we have agreed on makes an important contribution to that.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union have pushed for a burqa ban “wherever it is legally possible.”
“The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country,” Merkel told delegates at a party conference in December. “It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible.”
Other security measures include the use of ankle tags on people deemed a security threat, including Islamic radicals. Federal and state police records will also be merged into a common database.
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