Germany's Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, calls for Muslim women to be barred from wearing face veils in schools, universities and while driving. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Friday (August 19) that conservatives have agreed that Muslim women should be banned from wearing the face veil in schools and universities and while driving. The move follows an influx last year of more than 1 million mainly Muslim refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and rising public concern after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager. De Maiziere called for the partial face veil ban as regional interior ministers belonging to Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and her Christian Social Union (CSU) allies presented a declaration on tougher security measures, including more police and greater surveillance in public areas. Among the more controversial proposals is the call for the partial ban on the burqa and niqab garments, saying they show a lack of integration, suggest women are inferior and could pose security risks. The CDU proposals must be adopted by the government before they can become law. The debate over a ban on the face veil has divided Merkel's ruling coalition, with her Social Democrat (SPD) junior coalition partners largely against the demands. The CDU's calls for a partial ban come as it has lost support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which says Islam is incompatible with the constitution and wants to ban the burqa and minarets on mosques. The AfD is expected to perform well in regional elections in Berlin and the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in September. Germany's Labor Minister, who belongs to the Social Democratic party, said the calls were a sign of an "increasingly xenophobic" political discourse in Germany.