Excerpt:

Sabine Galuschka knows everyone here. The 57-year-old owns a small flower shop in the middle of Bad Godesberg's main street. Her discussions with customers often go beyond the business of buying flowers. The current debate about banning burqas is a particularly hot topic. "I just don't like that there are so many veiled women walking around. That's not the way we dress when we go out," she said. "I would just like to know who's hiding beneath the veil."

Not all women in Bad Godesberg wear the veil. As I walk through the town center on a warm summer's day, the contrast is stark. On one side of the street there are young girls in hot pants and tops; on the other side, there are women in headscarves. There are also women swathed in black niqabs, a type of full-body veil with just a narrow opening for the eyes. But there's not a burqa in sight.


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