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Germany mulls burqa ban

world Updated: Jan 31, 2010 07:59 IST

IANS
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As France has moved closer to a ban on burqas, German politicians are debating whether a similar measure was necessary in their own country, media reports said.

After a French parliamentary commission ruled earlier this week that the enveloping garment worn by some Islamic women is unacceptable and recommended a ban in schools and public offices, former Social Democratic parliamentarian, Turkish-German Lale Akgun urged for a similar ban in Germany.

"The burqa is a full-body prison that deeply threatens human rights," she told the Frankfurter Rundschau daily. "It would be an important signal for Germany to ban the burqa."

A burqa ban in German should include schools, universities, and high-security zones such as banks and airports, the daily quoted her as saying Saturday.

However, fellow party member Dieter Wiefelsp?tz rejected the suggestion.

"We have a different understanding of freedom than the French," he told the paper, adding that an enlightened Islam could not be forced.

Green party leader Cem Ozdemir said the debate overlooked the real conflict of integration, stressing that the number of women who wear burqas in Germany is low.

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