“We are an open society. We show our face. We are not burka”, says German interior minister

The burka and full-face veil have no place in German society, the country’s interior minister has said. “We are an open society. We show our face. We are not burka,” Thomas de Maiziere wrote in a guest editorial for Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Days after the German parliament voted in favour of a limited burka ban for civil servants, judges and the military, Mr de Maiziere called for laws to protect Germany’s “dominant culture”. We attach importance to certain social habits, not for themselves, but because they are expressions of a certain attitude,” Mr de Maiziere wrote. “We give our names. We shake hands. We ban masks at public demonstrations. To ‘show face’ is the expression of our democratic coexistence.” The minister spoke out in favour of the idea that there is an indigenous “dominant culture” in Germany that should be protected. “There is something beyond our language, constitution, and respect for fundamental rights that binds us in our hearts, that makes us different, and distinguishes us from others,” he wrote.
The concept of a Leitkultur, or “dominant culture”, is highly controversial in Germany. Under a law passed in Bavaria last year, all immigrants are required to respect the “dominant culture”. Supporters of the law argue it prevents the formation of parallel societies governed by, for instance, sharia law. But critics say it requires immigrants to treat beer festivals and lederhosen with the same respect as democracy and human rights.
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/30/open-society-show-face-not-bu…

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