For 2017, a tell-tale marker of the West’s view on Muslim immigrants will be the issue of Muslim women veiling their heads and faces. The most recent such case involved a court in Prague, which turned down the request of a Somalian student for financial damages and an apology, which she sought as the result of her being banned from covering her head while attending school.
Muslim women cover their head and sometimes face for various reasons: some say it is the will of God, for others it expresses modesty and is an expression of religious and cultural identity. However, there are also those that state that the scarves are there to curb uncontrollable male sexual desire.
The increasing unease felt by many in the West to veiling by Muslim women reflects the difficulties with the current immigration crises and also taps into the greater phenomenon of the misuse and misinterpretation of the Koran for political and ideological purposes. At the end of the day, the spreading of any religious doctrine into foreign lands should always be guided by the principle, that when outside religious principles collide with established local cultural values, the latter should be given preference. But that should apply both ways, as was the case with German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyden, who caused an uproar in Saudi Arabia by refusing to veil her head during an official visit to prince al Sauda.
France recently banned the hijab from all state buildings and for all persons working for the state. In Germany, chancellor Markel is now pushing for a ban on facial veiling “wherever it is legally possible”, bluntly stating that “it does not belong here.” She cleverly, but no less accurately, points out, that Germans consider being able to see the whole face a prerequisite for effective interpersonal communication.
Which is true not just for Germans, but for the entire human race.