The Veil Remains Forbidden for Bavarian Teachers

The Islamic veil remains forbidden for Bavarian teachers. On Monday January 15, in Munic, the state constitutional tribunal rejected the appeal of an islamic religious community, originally from Berlin, to revoke the 2005 law that forbids the veil for teachers in the Bavarian schools. Arguing that the law restricts religious liberty and goes against the principle of equality, the plaintants denounced a situation where nuns are permitted to teach in their habit but women who wear the veil are not. The tribunal followed the arguments of the Bavarian governmnet, which considered the nun’s habit to be compatible with the fundamental values and the educational objectives of Bavarian law. The debate is far from over. In 2006, the administrative tribunal of Stuttgart rescinded the legislation of Baden-Wurtemburg, upholding the argument of a teacher who denounced the treatment of veiled teachers as unequal. In Bavaria, the battle could begin again. The Munich tribunal upheld the Bavarian legislation without making an explicit statement on the headscarf.

UK Bishop Weighs in on Veil Debate

A Church of England bishop said in comments published Sunday that officials should have the power to ban veils that cover the face in public, continuing the divisive debate in Britain over the traditional garment for Muslim women. The Pakistani-born bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, urged Muslims not to wear the veil under some circumstances. “It is fine if they want to wear the veil in private,” he was quoted as saying by the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. “But there are occasions in public life when it is inappropriate for them to wear it.” Nazir-Ali said authorities should have the power to ban the veil in some situations. “I can see nothing in Islam that prescribes the wearing of a full-face veil,” he said. “In the supermarket, those at the cash tills need to be recognized. Teaching is another context in which society requires recognition and identification.”