German judge bans even 'beret' instead of headscarf

A Muslim teacher who replaced her head-scarf with a beret lost a lawsuit Friday against a German state.

German judge bans even 'beret' instead of headscarf
A Muslim teacher who replaced her head-scarf with a beret lost a lawsuit Friday against a German state.

Presiding judge Heike Menche of a labour tribunal in the western city of Dusseldorf upheld a pre-dismissal warning issued to the woman, 35, who trains children in life skills at a city school.

The woman adopted the pink beret after North Rhine-Westphalia state followed the example of Turkey and France by outlawing head scarves in public schools.

There are an estimated 3.2 million Muslims of the 82 million people in Germany mostly from Turkey.

The woman said her beret was not religious and said she wore it for cultural reasons, since she felt "undressed" when bare-headed.

The judge said the state had a right to pass the law and it did not matter whether other staff and pupils felt comfortable with the head-wear or not. She argued schoolchildren would perceive the beret as a substitute for the scarf and therefore as a religious symbol.

The judge advised the woman to wear a "wig" if she wanted to cover up her own hair without defying the law, but the teacher refused.

Public officials said they now intended to sack the woman.

Lawyer Peter Voigt said she would appeal the case to a higher labour tribunal, since the woman had discarded her scarf: "This pink beret is not religious and does not endanger neutrality of the public system."
Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2007, 15:20
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