We can hold the burka headscarf debate even without cynicism.

1.Burka, niqab and whatever they are all called are fabric prisons for women and a dominance symbol of the patriarchy. Some women may wear them willingly, others are locked in under it – I would rate the freedom not to be obliged to wear one much higher than the freedom to wear one. At the latest since I travelled through northern Pakistan. I would therefore help the women who do not want to wear one but must. And a ban could help.
2.We live in a constitutional state and that is good. As legislators we may not discriminate and that is good. If we give that up, then precisely that reactionary tolerance has won that is also the spirit behind the burka and niqab.
3.If we may not discriminate, a burka ban also means a headscarf ban, otherwise it is unconstitutional. A burka ban is therefore an anti-face-covering law.
4.I do not want to take away from 8 million people in this country and the over 500 million in Europe to walk past the increasing numbers of surveillance cameras unrecognised. I do not wish to make it dependent on the mercy and arbitrariness of the police. I rate this curtailment of freedom higher than the burka, in terms of democratic politics even more dangerous. I would not pay this price as a politician and a national citizen.
5.We are now paying this price. And those who believe that for the many men who made the decision it is about the freedom of individual Muslim women? Of course not. Eight million of us have lost a freedom because some are fostering xenophobic populism. It has happened.

Posted by Michel Reimon