One of Germany's most prominent nationalists said on Saturday that she would like to see not only the burqa but all headscarves banned in German public spaces.
Alice Weidel, who along with Alexander Gauland is representing the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party ahead of federal elections in September, called the religious garb sexist and inappropriate in German society.
"Headscarves do not belong in public spaces and should be banned on the streets," she told Berlin daily Tagesspiegel. Adding that it was an "absolutely sexist symbol," she compared the separation it makes between men and women to the apartheid system of racial segregation in South Africa.
In excerpts published ahead of Sunday's edition of Tagesspiegel, the former Goldman Sachs employee said that "the headscarf doesn't belong in Germany," echoing her party's official platform that "Islam doesn't belong in Germany."
She then suggested that on top of a headscarf ban, there should be a fine for anyone wearing a full-face veil or burqa.
While attacking the hijab, which is widely worn in Germany's Muslim communities, represented a new extreme - full-face veils in public have already been forbidden in Bavaria, Germany's conservative southeastern state, and for government employees carrying out official business.
Weidel did not apparently extend her suggestion to several other religions, including Orthodox Judaism, which require believers to don different kinds of head coverings.
European countries move to ban niqab, burqa
Different forms of Muslim religious garb have long been a point of contention throughout Europe as the continent comes to grips with new waves of immigration. In 2011, France became the first country to ban the full-face covering, or niqab, from being worn in public, citing security concerns. The Netherlands adopted a similar measure in 2015, and Austria followed suit this year.
On Friday, the deputy chairwoman of Britain's populist right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP) turned heads when she suggested the UK ban full-face veils on the grounds that they "prevent intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight."