Among all the havoc, the rise of AfD (Alternative für Deutschland), a right wing party in Germany, is causing, a not-needed public discussion has sprung up. The AfD argues, that Islam doesn’t belong to Germany and wants to get rid of as many (mainly Muslim) refugees as possible, among other atrocious statements (such as Germany needs to stay German, foreigners out).
If I remeber correctly, the CSU (Christlich-Soziale-Union), the more conservative, Bavarian branch of the governing CDU (Mr. Merkels party, the Christlich-Demokratische-Union), brought the topic up first. The CDU/CSU now want Burkas to be banned by law. What they actually are talking about are Niquabs and Burkas, meaning any female clothing covering the face save for the eyes.
Oh yes, banning this kind of clothing is going to change things around over here. Or is it? There are about 4.000 to 6.500 women wearing such an outfit in Germany, it is estimated. Roughly a third of which are German Ladies who converted. This equals 0,008 % of the population. Yet, last night there was a political talk show about this topic aired on TV, once again. Discussing European ways of greeting and communicating versus the freedom of choosing ones attire. The freedom of religion versus the discrimination against women. Our strive to integrate all refugees versus their part in the process.
I am getting tired of jumbling such unrelated matters all into one. Tired of the attempts of (mainly the conservative) parties to shift to the right in their struggle to keep their electorate. Tired of all the futile legislature to make things saver by law, at the same time crumbling all the corner stones our very freedom roots in. And really tired of substitutional discussions, that help noone. How is forbidding a burka or niquab going to make things saver around here, I wonder?
I can see the governments point, when it is neccessary to identify a person (i.e. passport picture or at a police station). This might require to ask women to reveal their faces. That’s about it. For all I care, otherwise they should be able to dress as they please.
It is a different topic, whether they do it, because they want to or because they are forced to. But this is a question of religion, culture and patriachism, no law will be able to solve any time soon. Remember, even in oh so enlightended Europe, women still earn 20 to 30% less than males for their work. Now, this would be worth a public discussion in Germany. It is so easy to point the finger, forgetting ones own shortcomings.