German ban on full-face veils for public servants goes ahead

German ban on full-face veils for public servants goes ahead

BERLIN — The German Parliament has approved a government proposal that would ban the wearing of full-face veils for public servants while they are at work.

The bill was proposed last year by security officials from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc. They argued that wearing the burqa or other face-covering veils in public schools, courts and other situations compromised public servants’ neutrality, and that in many cases it is important for their identity to be known.

The law also applies to soldiers.

The law passed the lower house of Parliament late Thursday and still needs upper house approval.

Those against the measure have criticized it as merely symbolic, saying there are next to no public servants who wear such veils.

The Associated Press