Court upholds headscarf ban for teachers

Munich (dpa) – A court in the southern German state of Bavaria upheld a ban Monday on Muslim female teachers wearing headscarves in schools.

The Bavarian Constitutional Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Berlin-based Islamic Religious Community, which claimed the ban was unconstitutional because it violated the rights of Muslims.

The ban has been in force since 2005. It was introduced by Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) government with the aim of protecting children from the influence of Islamic fundamentalists.

The government and the state parliament had argued that a teacher wearing a headscarf could not credibly impart or represent the state’s educational goals, in particular the equality of men and women.

The rule comes amid moves by Germany to improve integration of the country’s 3.4 million Muslims.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble suggested recently that the EU should promote the training of imams to encourage Muslim leaders who were comfortable with European values.

Schaeuble also criticized traditional Muslim attitudes to women and said equal rights for women was a universal concept that should be defended everywhere.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday January 16, 2007.
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