Muslims protest Belgian school ban on veil

About a hundred people gathered in Antwerp Sunday to protest a ban on veils imposed over the weekend at the only remaining high school in Belgium that permitted them, according to press reports over the weekend. High schools in Antwerp and Hoboken announced over the weekend they intended to, follow in the footsteps of other Belgian schools and prohibit Muslims from wearing the veil starting with the next academic term. The school said the ban refers to all religious and political symbols. The protesters held placards bearing slogans like “Freedom for all, except us” and “Democracy not discrimination,” according to a local TV station. It is expected affect about 50 percent of the school’s female students according to Nordin al-Taweel, former president of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, the official national organization of Muslim Belgians, told the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat. School administrators, however, said the number of veiled girls in the school did not exceed five and that they would have reconsidered the matter if it affected more people.