Thursday, May 10, 2018

German Labor Court Upholds Ban On Primary School Teacher Wearing Hijab

In 2015, Germany's Constitutional Court invalidated a blanket ban on Muslim teachers wearing the hijab (head scarf) while teaching. However it held that hijabs could be banned in individual cases where a concrete danger is posed. (See prior posting.)  Yesterday a labor court judge in Berlin upheld the city's neutrality law that prohibits all religious clothing for public school teachers, police officers and judicial employees, saying that it does not violate a teacher's constitutional right to religious freedom.  The ruling came in the case of a primary school teacher who asserted the right to wear a hijab.  Justice Arne Boyer ruled that neutrality takes precedence over free religious expression.  A court spokesman clarified the ruling, saying that while primary school children should be free of the influence that can be exerted by religious symbols, the teacher could could continue to wear her hijab while teaching older students in a public secondary school.  Deutsche Welle and PressTV report on the decision.