Belgian court upholds school’s decision to ban headscarves

The Council of State, Belgium’s top administrative court, ruled that schools may ban girls from wearing the Muslim headscarf or hijab. The court argued that a ban on the garment is not discriminatory, but rather, reinforced principals of equality and solidarity.

While the ruling does not argue for a mandatory ban, it gives Belgian schools to take the decision into their own hands. The Movement against Racism, anti-Semitism, and Xenophobia, a prominent civil rights group, slammed the ruling as “ideological, factious, and anti-democratic.” It added that it was considering appealing the ruling to either the European Court of Human Rights, or the United Nations Human Rights Council.