German court upholds hijab ban for female Muslim teachers

An administrative court in the western city of Duesseldorf upheld a hijab ban for female Muslim teachers, news reports said Tuesday.

The court dismissed the complaint of a 52-year-old Muslim teacher and thus confirmed the hijab ban which came into effect in June 2006. The judges argued that wearing the hijab was a religious avowal and violated state neutrality rules in schools. The plaintiff is to appeal the verdict.

Several German states have enacted tough anti-hijab laws which many Muslims view as a violation of their constitutional right to exercise religious freedom. There is no formal hijab ban in Germany, although German federal states are allowed to ban Muslim state employees with headscarves, provided the states have the required legislation on the books, according to a ruling by the nation`s highest court.

IRNA, 14 August 2007

See also Reuters, 14 August 2007