German minister wants to end discrimination against Muslims … by banning hijab from schools

The Muslim minority in Germany is suffering from a growing religious discrimination with many Germans wrongly associating Islam with terrorism, a federal minister admitted on Sunday, May 7.

“Muslims are lately being confronted with mounting rejection which feeds from fear,” Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries told the weekly Welt am Sonntag. She said many Germans were not able to properly distinguish between Islam and terrorism. “As a consequence many Muslims are faced with discrimination because of their faith as some people link the Muslim faith automatically with Al-Qaeda and terrorism,” added Zypries.

The Interior Ministry is sponsoring a mobile exhibition touring the country to draw the line between Islam as a faith and the practices of some Muslims. It aims to distinguish between Islam as a religion that preaches peace and tolerance and parties condoning violence in the name of Islam, said the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the sponsor. The exhibition would visit universities, schools, parliaments, municipalities and cultural centers in the different states.

European officials said recently that the bloc is set to remove derogatory terminology about Islam like “Islamic terrorism” and “fundamentalists” in its new lexicon of public communication.

The minister proposed the introduction of school uniforms to avoid sparking furor over Muslim students wearing hijab. “All school pupils should wear the same school uniform,” she said. The minister believes such uniforms would also help prevent religious and social discrimination in Germany.

Islam Online, 7 May 2006