Tuesday, 28 Jan 2020

Austrian parliament passed bill banning headscarves in elementary schools


IllustrationIllustration - The Austrian Parliament on Wednesday, May 15th 2019 passed a bill to ban headscarves in Elementary Schools which was proposed by a coalition government consisting of the center-right party ÖVP and the ultra-right party FPÖ. The new law does not refer to Islam or Muslims directly, but in the text mentioned prohibiting "clothing that is ideologically or religiously influenced which is associated with head covers."

The Austrian government explained that the "yarmulke" Jewish cap or the head cover of the Sikh "patka" are not included in the ban. Because the new law refers to a head covering that "covers all the hair or most of it." Not included in the prohibition is also a headgear for medical reasons or protection against rain or snow.

OVP party MP Rudolf Taschner said the new law is intended to "free girls from oppression". Education spokesman from the FPÖ party, Wendelin Mölzer explained, the bill is intended as a firm signal "against political Islam" and promoting the integration of Muslims.

The former education minister of the Austrian Social Democratic Party SPÖ, Sonja Hammerschmid, accused the government of only seeking sensation to become the headlines of the media, rather than resolving the issue of integration or education in the country. The Austrian Muslim community organization IGGÖ said that they will take legal steps to oppose the "destructive" law, which "exclusively discriminates against Muslims."


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