Catholic School in the Netherlands May Ban Headscarves

6 September 2011

An appeal court has ruled that a Catholic secondary school in the city of Volendam may ban pupils from wearing Islamic headscarves. As an independent school, the college is permitted to set standards to uphold its values, so long as the rules are applied consistently. The case arose when student Imane Mahssan sought permission to wear a headscarf to the school; when banned from attending lessons, her father took the case to the Equal Opportunities Commission. While the EOC ruled in Mahssan’s favour, a magistrate in Haarlem disagreed: the appeals court has confirmed the judgement in favour of the school. Mahssan, it ruled, knew before joining the independent school that it was a Catholic educational institution and thus “should have realized”  that her headscarf would be problematic.

The legality of practicing law with Islamic headscarves

A lawyer of Moroccon origin, Oubida Barik, presented an administrative appeal against the president of the Criminal Division, Javier Gomez Bermudez because he wouldn’t allow her to remain in the courtroom while wearing her Islamic headscarf or hijab.

The lawyer was wearing her gown and hijab while sitting on the lawyers bench helping a colleague, the lawyer Salellas Benet, in the defense in a trial for Islamist terrorism.

Gomez Bermudez, applying his powers as president of organization of the trial, ordered Barik to take off the headscarf, but as she refused, he invited her to sit in the audience or leave the room.

The General Council of the Judiciary will decide on the legality of this practice.

CAIR Applauds Decision to Allow Hijab in Georgia Courts

Muslim civil rights group had challenged ban on religious attire in courtrooms

WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a decision by the Judicial Council of Georgia to allow religious attire such as Islamic headscarves, or hijab, in that state’s courtrooms.

Ankara headscarf reform hot topic for Berlin’s Turks

Turkey’s plans to lift a ban on Islamic headscarves in universities has become a hot topic of conversation among young Turkish women in Berlin, home to western Europe’s biggest population with Turkish roots. Turkey’s parliament gave initial approval on Thursday to the move, fiercely opposed by a secular elite that fears religious encroachment on the state and moves towards sharia law. “It’s a human right to wear a head scarf,” said Derya Issever, a second-generation Turkish fashion student from Berlin’s southern district of Kreuzberg, the heart of the capital’s Turkish community. “But you’re more likely to see people wearing a headscarf here in Berlin than in the centre of Istanbul,” said the secular 25-year-old who was born in Germany. Many of the Turkish immigrants in Kreuzberg came from conservative Anatolia, where the headscarf is commonly worn, rather than the more Europeanized cities such as Istanbul and Ankara. Turkish culture flourishes here in cafes, grocery shops, clubs for young Turks, political groups and mosques. Sarah Roberts reports.

Sweden: Ban headscarves’ say half of Swedes

Islamic headscarves ought to be banned at workplaces and in schools – that’s the view of half the people surveyed in a new Swedish poll. The poll, the third of its kind taken by Uppsala University to measure Swedes’ views of diversity, shows a rising number of people supporting a headscarf ban.

Headscarf Law follows Mothers on Field Trips

The HALDE promotes the principle of non-discrimination The High Authority for the Struggle Against Discrimination and for Equality (HALDE) has found it “contrary to the principle of non-discrimination on religious grounds” that mothers wearing Islamic headscarves be excluded from accompanying students on field trips and extra-curricular activities. {(continued in French)} FOULARD STATUT DES M_RES ACCOMPAGNANT LES SORTIES SCOLAIRES POUR LA HAUTE Autorit_ de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l’_galit_ (Halde), le refus oppos_ aux m_res d’_l_ves portant le foulard islamique de participer _ des sorties scolaires est ” contraire aux dispositions interdisant les discriminations fond_es sur la religion “. Dans une d_lib_ration du 14 mai rendue publique le 6 juin, la Halde vient ainsi apporter une r_ponse _ une question jusqu’alors non tranch_e, sur le statut des m_res d’_l_ves accompagnant les sorties de classe (Le Monde du 27 mars). Pour elle, la qualit_ de collaborateur b_n_vole auquel sont assimil_s ces adultes ne peut ” emporter reconnaissance du statut d’agent public, avec l’ensemble des droits et des devoirs qui y sont rattach_s “, contrairement _ ce que soutiennent certaines inspections d’acad_mie. En effet, ” la notion de collaborateur b_n_vole est de nature “fonctionnelle”, rappelle-t-elle : sa seule vocation consiste _ couvrir les dommages subis par une personne qui, sans _tre un agent public, participe _ une mission de service public “. La Halde met aussi en avant un arr_t du Conseil d’Etat du 27 juillet 2001, pr_cisant que ni le principe de la_cit_ ni celui de neutralit_ du service public ne s’opposaient _ l’intervention, dans les prisons, de surveillants congr_ganistes apportant leur concours au fonctionnement des _tablissements p_nitentiaires pour l’exercice de t_ches relevant non de la surveillance des d_tenus, mais de fonctions compl_mentaires de soutien. ” Or les parents participant aux sorties scolaires semblent _tre dans une situation similaire ” car ils ” apportent leur concours (…) pour les t_ches qui ne rel_vent pas des missions d’enseignement, au sens strict “, souligne la Haute Autorit_. Et de rappeler que, selon le Conseil d’Etat, le seul port du foulard ne constitue pas par lui-m_me un acte de pression ou de pros_lytisme. La Halde donne trois mois au ministre de l’_ducation nationale pour ” prendre toute mesure n_cessaire afin d’assurer (…) le respect du principe de non-discrimination “.

Another German State To Curb Hijab; North Rhine-Westphalia Is The Latest State To Target The Hijab

Germany’s most populous state has moved to ban Muslim teachers from wearing headscarves in classrooms. Deputies from the ruling Christian Democrats and Free Democrats in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia agreed unanimously on Tuesday to put the measure to a vote in the state legislature in November. “With the ban, we will send a message to affirm our system of values against Islamic fundamentalism,” the head of the Free Democrats’ parliamentary group, Gerhard Papke, said. The regional education ministry said there were 20 Muslim teachers known to wear headscarves (hijab) at public schools in the state. Headscarf bans for teachers have already been introduced in the German states of Hesse, Lower Saxony, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria and Saarland. In Hesse the ban applies to all civil servants. However, the rules stop short of banning school pupils from wearing Islamic headscarves. Germany is home to more than three million Muslims.

French Muslims Feel ‘Stigmatised’

Muslims in France feel “stigmatised” by a new law which will outlaw Islamic headscarves in schools, a male Muslim leader has said. The ban on religious symbols in schools will come into force at the start of the new academic year this autumn. It is meant to underpin France’s strict separation of religion and state. Mr Breze, president of the Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF), said France risked moving from integrating minorities to excluding them.

‘Bin Laden Deputy’ Slams Scarf Ban

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) –A tape recording attributed to Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, criticized France’s decision to ban Islamic headscarves in schools, and described it as “part of the West’s campaign of hatred against Islam.” “The decision of the French president to issue a law to prevent Muslim girls from covering their heads in schools is another example of the Crusader and envy that the Westerners have against Muslims,” said the voice in the audiotape broadcast Tuesday on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel. “Banning the headscarves in France is in line with burning villages with its inhabitants in Afghanistan, bringing houses down on the heads of sleeping Palestinians, with killing children in Iraq and robbing their oil using false pretexts … (and) torturing [Muslims in the cells of Guantanamo,” the tape said. Al-Arabiya would not disclose how it acquired the tape from al Qaeda’s No. 2 man.