In what was the German Bundesrat’s final session before Sunday’s election, lawmakers passed a controversial new law that requires drivers to have their faces visible and unobscured by any masks or coverings in order to keep their identity visible, but some in the Muslim community see the new legislation as a means of racial attack towards women wearing the traditional face coverings, calling it out as a ‘burqa ban’.
While the Transportation Ministry tried to clarify the decision as being a measure of public safety regardless of race or religion, it was reiterated that it is purely for making it possible to properly identify drivers via traffic cameras or other means. Burqa’s fall under the ban as they cover a majority of the face, but costume masks and face-obscuring hoods are also part of the ban.
Still, organizations like the Central Council of Muslims in Germany see it as a way to slip in laws against members of their faith. “Proof of this is the fact that laws are being passed in areas that don’t need to regulated,” Deputy Council Chairman Nurhan Soykan said in an interview with DW. “We know of no case in which a burqa or niqab wearer caused an accident that can be linked to wearing a full-body veil.”
Drivers violating the new law will face a fine of €60 ($71).