German politicians look to ban headscarves on school girls

Merkel’s CDU Use AfD Playbook, Call for Ban of Headscarves in Schools

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had to fight hard to find a coalition partner to secure not only a functioning German government but also her own fourth term at the top. Little did she know though that once the deals were signed, she would find herself challenging her own party on policy as a debate on headscarves on schoolgirls has her party moving closer to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Julia Kloeckner, acting Farm Minister and member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), are two key party members moving further right as they look to ban girls under the age of 14 from wearing headscarves at school.

While a similar ban put into place for civil servants, judges and soldiers managed to make it through the German parliament last year, it is said that Merkel will not be as warm to the idea this go around.

The proposal has created a stir in the CDU/CSU party camps as some see this as an attempt to woo back voters after the AfD shook up the voting landscape this past September. For Seehofer and others in his CSU party, political careers are at stake again this year as Bavarians will be heading back to the voting booths in October.

A ban on headscarves, should it ever make its way into the law books, would certainly be celebrated by the AfD as a move against Islam, but that isn’t exactly the angle that CDU/CSU members are using to sell the idea.

As Kloeckner has argued, banning the headgear in schools is seen as a move to keep “crude gender stereotypes” from influencing children.

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Sources: Reuters

Photo by Rendiansyah Nugroho on Unsplash

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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