- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

After facing intense criticism for her open-door policy to refugees, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a ban on full face veils, or burqas, “wherever legally possible” in the country.

“The full veil is not appropriate here, it should be forbidden wherever that is legally possible. It does not belong to us,” Mrs. Merkel said at her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) gathering on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.

“We don’t want any parallel societies,” she said. “Our law takes precedence before tribal rules, codes of honor and sharia.”

It was her strongest language yet to back the ban first announced in August by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, one of Mrs. Merkel’s closest allies, The Telegraph reported.

“We all reject the full veil — not only the burka but also other types of full veil that only leave the eyes visible. They have no place in our society,” Mr. Maiziere said at the time. “Showing your face is essential for our communication, co-existence and social cohesion and that’s why we’re asking everyone to show their faces.”

Similar burqa bans have been enacted in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Mrs. Merkel’s comments Tuesday followed an announcement last month that she would be running for a fourth term. The chancellor’s decision to open Germany’s borders to refugees, mostly from war-torn regions, has hit her approval ratings and caused a rift in her own party.

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