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German university bans burqa, niqab during lectures

Published Feb 13, 2019

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Kiel - Kiel University in the far north of Germany has banned full-face coverings after a row with a Muslim student.

"On campus, students may wear a burqa [full body covering] or a niqab [face veil] that only allows one eye-slit," university spokesman Boris Pawlowski said on Wednesday.

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But the university's executive committee decided to ban the veil during lectures in a directive from January 29.

The minimum requirements for communication in research, teaching and administration included not only the spoken word but also facial expressions and gestures, Pawlowski said.

Karin Prien of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) - the education minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein, of which Kiel is the capital - welcomed the decision and announced a legislative initiative against the wearing of facial veils in schools.

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Earlier, the Kieler Nachrichten local newspaper had reported about the case.

dpa

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