German state's ban on teachers wearing headscarves

DUESSELDORF, June 6(Daily Times): A court on Tuesday upheld a German state's ban on teachers wearing the Muslim headscarf in public schools, rejecting a woman's appeal against a decision not to employ her. North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, is one of several regions that have introduced headscarf bans for teachers in recent years.

The 28-year-old plaintiff had argued that the state's law was discriminatory and violated her religious freedom. However, the administrative court in Duesseldorf said regional law did not allow for religious statements that might infringe on the state's neutrality toward students and parents. Presiding judge Kurt Buechel argued that wearing a headscarf does to some extent constitute an expression of religious conviction. Authorities in Duesseldorf had refused to employ the teacher on the grounds that she was not prepared to go without a headscarf in classes.

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