Facing a growing refugee and migrant population, a southeastern German state pushed forward with legislation to prohibit full-face veils worn in public spaces.

The ban — introduced by the government of Bavaria late Tuesday — would be implemented in such public spaces as election polling stations, universities and other school settings.

“Concealing your face is at odds with this culture of communication.”

The legislation bans Islamic face veils known as the niqab or burka, which leaves the area around the eyes open; the hijab can also cover parts of the face and body. The veils are traditionally worn by some Muslim women.

Do these religious garments prevent communication and cause concern for safety?

“Concealing your face is at odds with this culture of communication,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, as the British Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster, noted, “As the front line of the influx of more than a million, often Muslim, refugees and migrants into Germany over the past two years, Bavaria has also had to deal with increasing concerns about domestic security and the integration of migrants into mainstream culture.”

Related: The Hijab: A Religious History

“A communicative exchange takes place not only through speech, but also through looks, expressions and gestures,” Herrmann told the press, according to Deutsche Welle. “It forms the foundation of our interpersonal relationships and is the basis of our society and free and democratic order.”

In December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in response to a global refugee crisis that full veils “must be banned wherever it is legally possible” in Germany.

Last year, several violent attacks took place in Bavaria. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for two attacks in Bavaria. Süddeutsche Zeitung, a Munich-based German daily newspaper, hinted that banning full-face veils is a political stunt and wrote that a ban is not necessary.

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A final vote on the ban in Bavaria is expected this spring.

Bavaria is not the only European government moving in this direction, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chad, and Austria all ban full-face veils. Other countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa have local or partial full-face veil bans.

The issue came up again Tuesday, when Marine Le Pen, a French presidential candidate, canceled a meeting with Lebanon’s highest Sunni Muslim official of religious law; she refused to wear a headscarf for the meeting.

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In 2004, the French government banned Muslim headscarves and other religious symbols in French schools. Le Pen has said she wants to extend this ban on headscarves to all public places, reported Reuters.

France was the first country in Europe to ban Islamic full-face veils. France’s law on the niqab and burka took effect in 2011. Last summer, mayors in some French towns banned burkinis, a full-body swimsuit worn by Muslim women.