Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany calls for a ban of burqas as election nears

In accepting her party’s nomination for a fourth term in office, German chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a speech that took aim at conservative critics of her liberal asylum policies, yet also embraced a proposal to ban the burqa.

“In interpersonal communication, which plays a fundamental role here, we show our face,” she said in reference to the full-body covering that, while rarely worn in Germany, is a touchstone issue for the far right. “And that’s why a full veil is inappropriate in our country. It should be banned wherever legally possible. It does not belong in our country.”

Those comments on December 6 were met with resounding ap­plause from members of her center-right Christian Democratic Union. And she went so far as to bring up a far-right conspiracy theory: “We don’t want any parallel societies. Our law takes precedence before tribal rules, codes of honor, and Shari’a.”