German Administrative Court rules that wearing a niqab while driving a car violates the legal ban on wearing burqas

A Muslim woman who wears a niqab for religious reasons is not entitled to an exception to the ban on wearing burqasl when driving a motor vehicle. The ban on wearing burqas according to § 23 (4) of the German Road Traffic Act (StVO) is compatible with the freedom of religion according to Article 4 of the Basic Law. Cars offer a protective space in public which largely fulfils the purpose for which the niqab is intended. Furthermore, § 46 (2) StVO allows exceptions in cases of hardship. A full veiling endangers traffic safety because traffic offences can no longer be effectively pursued, because it can impair all-round vision and restrict mimic communication in road traffic. The state authority and not the Federal Ministry of Transport is responsible for granting an exception according to § 46 (2) StVO, even if the exception is to apply nationwide.

(Düsseldorf Administrative Court, judgment given on November 26, 2020, Ref. 6 L 2150/20)–23-abs–4-stvo.html

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