The prime minister of the German state of Hesse said in an interview Sunday that he wants a ban on the wearing of Islamic dress covering the whole body in schools. This was the best way to improve the integration of Muslim female students and counteract religious pressure on them from within their own culture, Premier Roland Koch told the news magazine Focus. He said girls wearing a burka, a traditional outer garment that cloaks the entire body, could not take part in lessons as equals because of their conspicuous dress. But Koch, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said he had no plans for a ban on students wearing headscarves, attire which teachers in the state are forbidden to wear.

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