German court told that burkinis violate Islamic dress codes
Although they provide full body cover, burkinis still breach Islam’s ethic of decency, Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe was told in a case involving an 11-year old girl.
But the court, the highest in Germany, rejected an appeal by the girl’s parents that she should be excused from the school swimming classes because burkinis were unIslamic, and ruled that ultra-conservative Muslim girls must take part in mixed swimming classes.
The girl had argued before lower courts that swimming in a burkini revealed the shape of her body, something that goes against her religion.
The constitutional court further found there were “no binding rules in Islam” to define appropriate clothing.
Germany is in the grip of a heated public debate about the role of Islam in society as it seeks to integrate more than a million mainly Muslim asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution who have entered this year and last.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservatives have been punished at the polls in regional elections by voters angry at what is seen as her open-door policy, on Tuesday proposed a ban on full-face Muslim veils.
She said the Muslim full-face veil was not compatible with German culture. Crowds cheered as she said:
Here we say ‘show your face’. So full veiling is not appropriate here. It should be prohibited wherever legally possible.
Her Christian Democrats, who have been bleeding support to the AfD, a populist party that says Islam is incompatible with the constitution, toughened their tone on integrating migrants at a party conference this week.
The court’s ruling could give more credibility to future attempts by the government to ban the full-face veil after a parliamentary election next year.