Following the recent announcement by Angela Merkel that she would seek to ban full face veils in Germany “wherever legally possible,” many have suggested enacting a similar ban in the United States. Such a ban would outlaw any garment that fully covers the wearer’s face, including the Islamic Naqib and Burqa.
Proponents argue that a veil ban would help the integration of Muslim migrants into the United States. Wearing a full face veil is extremely counterproductive to normal social relations in America, leaving women isolated in their own social spheres, and preventing them from developing friendships outside their cultural group. A ban would upset many women who wear a veil as a symbol of religious commitment, but ultimately be helpful in integrating them into American society.
A ban on face veils is also supported by many women’s rights activists, who argue the veil is a symbol of oppression used by domineering husbands to prevent their wives from engaging independently with the world. German feminist Adele Fischer said of veils, “Abusive husbands will force their wives and daughters to wear veils against their wishes, to keep them socially confined.” American feminists echo this sentiment, with a number coming out in support of a ban on face veils in recent years.
Finally, a ban on face veils would discourage Muslim hard-liners (fundamentalist practitioners of orthodox Islam) from migrating to the United States in the first place. While this is only debatably a benefit, many agree that Islamic fundamentalists aren’t ideal immigrants to America and we’d all be happier if they stayed home.
A veil ban would have strong support from the American public, but such a step has rarely been considered due to our nation’s preoccupation with political correctness and long tradition of personal freedoms. However, the incoming Trump administration, with its legislative majorities and predicted support from the Supreme Court, would be well poised to enact such a ban if it wanted.