Muslim women teachers can wear headscarves as long as it does not cause disruption in school, Germany’s top court said in a ruling that overturns an earlier ban and may fuel debate about what some nationalist groups see as creeping “Islamization”. Reuters reports:
The Constitutional Court struck down its own 2003 ban on headscarves for teachers, which had led some German states to forbid Muslim headscarves in schools while permitting the use of Christian symbols such as crucifixes and nuns’ habits.
The court in Karlsruhe, ruling on a case brought by a Muslim woman blocked from a teaching job because of her headscarf, said religious symbols could only be banned when they posed “not just an abstract but a concrete risk of disruption in schools”.
“This is a good day for religious freedom,” said Volker Beck, a lawmaker from the opposition Greens.
He argued that headgear worn by devout Muslim, Jewish and Christian women and men was less of a threat to German society than “opponents of diversity” such as the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), neo-Nazis and extremist Muslim Salafists.