Ireland: Pupils’ right to wear hijab is backed by almost half surveyed

According to a poll conducted by the Irish Times and TNS, almost half of people feel that the wearing of the hijab or headscarf by Muslim students should be allowed in state schools. 48% agreed that the garment should be permitted, 39% disagreed, and 13% indicated that they had no opinion. A breakdown of the figures by age show that young people are more tolerance of the headscarf, while older people were more likely to be opposed to its wearing. In addition, 55% of women agreed to its wearing, compared to only 42% of men. The poll was conducted among a sample of 1,000 voters in face-to-face interviews, at 100 sampling points in all 43 constituencies. Batt O’Keeffe, the Minister for Education, said that the Government will consider whether or not to issue guidelines for the hijab/headscarf when it drafts an inter-cultural education strategy later in the year.