Schools and universities should have power to ban veil says Swedish education minister

The leaders of Swedish schools and universities should be allowed to ban students from wearing clothes that cover their faces, including Islamic veils such as the full-body burqa and the full-face niqab, Education Minister Jan Bjorklund said Wednesday.

“Education is based on an interaction between teacher and students. You have to be able see each others’ faces,” Bjorklund said. “I think that it is questionable if the school can fulfil its task if a student wears clothing that covers the face, like the burqa and niqab.”

The Left Party’s education spokeswoman, Rossana Dinamarca, said the proposal would “force more girls with full-face veils to (religious) independent schools” and criticized the proposal as populistic, noting the upcoming elections in September.

DPA, 4 August 2010