Dutch school can impose headscarf restrictions, equal opportunities commission rules

A secondary school in Utrecht was within its rights to set demands on how Muslim girls wear their headscarves, the equal opportunities commission said on Tuesday.

However, the commission said the ruling only applies to pupils who started at the school this academic year, after the rule was introduced, the Telegraaf reports.

In June, the Gerrit Rietveld College told girls who wear Islamic headscarves they must make sure at least 90% of their face is visible. In particular, headscarves should not cover their eyebrows and chin, which makes communication with teachers difficult, the school said.

Some 50 pupils refused to comply and the school itself took the issue to the commission.

Dutch News, 25 January 2011

See also RNW, 25 January 2011