Headscarf ban not approved in Leuven

The Leuven municipal council voted down a proposal by Vlaams Belang to ban civil servants from wearing the headscarf. By a large majority, only three of 45 councilors supported the proposal. Hagen Goyvaerts of Vlaams Belang pointed out that ethics codes provide for workers to stay neutral during working hours, and may not conduct religious propaganda; therefore the party sees the headscarf as a religious symbol that stands in conflict with this notion. Els Van Hoof (of CD&V) agreed that workers ought to remain neutral, but argued that this pertains to behavior, and not to clothing, and that such ban would be detrimental by making it more difficult for immigrant women to find work.