German president defends school veil ban

German President Christian Wulff wrapped up a trip to the Gulf states on Monday, with a question-and-answer session at the University of Doha in Qatar. Wulff answered a veiled student’s question with a defense of a ban on burqas in German schools.

“The conscious decision to cover yourself up clashes with the duty of the state to educate its children,” he said. “Showing your face is part of a free society.”

A person wearing a burqa in Europe appeared to be calling into question the equality between men and women, Wulff said. “But we don’t want to question this equality.”

Deutsche Welle, 28 February 2011