This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ban on full-face veils in her country:
Merkel said bans on coverings such as the burqa and niqab should be enacted “wherever it is legally possible” — measures that would probably include venues such as courtrooms, public schools and universities, together with occasions such as traffic stops and police checks.
Some consider that the measure is an attack against the Muslim population, but it is not so: the prohibition only applies to places and circumstances where it is legally required to see the full face of individuals for identification purposes. If someone wants to go to the mall or the park dressed as Darth Vader, they can do so; but at an airport, a bank or when applying for a passport, it is patently obvious that all people need to show their face.
So far, German law has consecrated an exception for religious reasons to this rule, but this is no more than a religious privilege: why give this preferential treatment to those who insist on covering their face with a symbol of oppression because their imaginary friend demands so, but deny such a treat for RoboCop fans?
Merkel’s call is to end religious privilege, so we should all get behind this initiative, and demand more similar measures.