German State Proposes Ban of Headscarves for Muslim Civil Servants

February 10, 2004

Source: Yahoo! News 20040211/ap_on_re_eu/germany_headscarf_ban_1

On February 10, 2004 Yahoo! News posted an Associated Press article that reported, "The dominant party in the western German state of Hesse on Tuesday proposed legislation that would ban Muslim civil servants from wearing headscarves, a measure that goes further than three other states' proposals to outlaw the veil for public school teachers. The conservative Christian Democrats' leader in the state legislature, Franz-Josef Jung, argued that the headscarf is a political rather than a religious statement and a symbol of repression. The party, which has a majority in Hesse, hopes to push its so-called 'bill to secure state neutrality' through by the summer. Germany has roughly 3.5 million Muslims, most of Turkish origin. Its 16 states have been divided over whether to ban Muslim teachers from covering their heads in the classroom since the nation's highest court ruled in September that veils were allowed unless existing legislation specifically outlawed them."