Can you sense a shifting of the tides in Europe this year following both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump? Norbert Hofer may have lost his bid to unseat the leadership in Austria, but the winds of change are still blowing across the EU. Germany has seen a series of stunning upsets in regional elections for Angela Merkel’s CDU party and she’s going to be facing some stiff competition to hold on to her own seat next year. I wonder if that’s part of her rather curious decision to suddenly endorse a ban on burqas in her nation? (Fox News)
Angela Merkel has called for a burqa ban wherever “legally possible” and says the full Islamic veil is “not appropriate” in Germany.
The German chancellor made the comments at a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) conference having recently declared she will seek re-election.
She received a large round of applause for calling for the outlawing of the burqa at the conference in Essen, Bild reported.
If this isn’t a move to blatantly toss some red meat to Merkel’s critics who have blasted her for her immigration policies then I’ve never seen one. The Chancellor’s previous comments about a welcoming environment and the need to accept change are pretty much 180 degrees out of line with this. But will it do any good?
Besides the fact that this would be seen as religious persecution in a nation with a functional First Amendment, there’s something else that Merkel might consider. Burqas aren’t the problem. What people wear as part of their traditional and religious garb isn’t where your country is running into trouble. Your voters are angry because you allowed a flood of people from a very different culture into your nation with insufficient (if any) vetting and there has been an ongoing wave of violence and other crime ever since. The natives are restless because a nation with a culture and traditions which are a millennia or more older than anything Americans are used to were suddenly told that an army of newcomers was about to arrive who would shift those cultural norms in an extreme way and provoke unending conflict. And to top it all off, they were given no choice in the matter since their elected officials were tone deaf to the complaints.
A ban on the burqa is most likely worse than useless. The few crimes you manage to prevent or solve will be more than made up for by all the Muslims who will take that as proof that they are under attack and fly into a rage. You may recall when the French got wrapped up in that entire burkini ban mess. Everyone came out looking silly, the courts banned the ban and a food fight ensued which solved nothing while making the country look ridiculous. Appeasing a few people in Germany who may genuinely dislike all Muslims at face value isn’t going to fix what’s ailing you. It’s your policies which people find revolting, not what some random stranger is wearing on the street.