Religious primary schools should be banned

Debate about headscarves in schools : Expert opinion sees headscarf ban for children as legally possible

According to the Würzburg constitutional lawyer Kyrill-Alexander Schwarz, the state could ban girls up to the age of 14 from wearing headscarves in schools across the board.

In a report presented on Thursday for the Federal Working Group of Immigrant Associations in Germany (BAGIV), which sees itself as a secular interest group, Schwarz comes to the conclusion that such a ban would be constitutional, although the state would interfere with religious freedom and parental rights .

Guarantee of freedom through restriction of freedom?

“Even if the parental right basically allows parents to educate and shape their underage children over a long period of time, this right nevertheless finds a limit in the child's best interests”, argues Schwarz. "For this reason, the state guard office justifies interventions in parental rights to bring up children to protect the child."

It is about guaranteeing freedom by restricting freedom, he said on Thursday in Berlin. "In order to prevent children and adolescents from straying too far from social reality and this can lead to significant disruptions in personality development, a prohibition is constitutionally unobjectionable," the report says.

"The Koran does not require any veiling for children"

“Children's headscarf - you won't even find a source for that in the Koran. Everyone agrees on that. The Koran does not require any veiling for children, ”said BAGIV President Ali Ertan Toprak. He called the headscarf "a symbol of oppression". The women's rights organization Terre des Femmes and the German Teachers' Association also joined the call for a ban.

The President of the German Teachers' Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, said: "If children and young people under 14 wear a headscarf, this makes the school's task of integrating more difficult." School worn. In addition, the headscarf complicates the educational mandate of schools to raise children and young people to be self-determined and free individuals.

"Islambashing" and as a "symbol debate"

The problem is still manageable in kindergartens and elementary schools. In the age group 10 to 14, Meidinger assumes several thousand or ten thousand cases in Germany. There are no exact numbers. In the past, Islamic associations referred to the discussion as "Islamic bashing" and a "symbolic debate". There are cases in the "per mille range".

In his report, Schwarz advocates a headscarf ban for under 14-year-olds in all public institutions - for example authorities - not only in schools. In his opinion, concentrating only on schools would run the risk that the Federal Constitutional Court could reject such a ban not in terms of content, but purely formally because of the state responsibility for schools.

The Tübingen constitutional lawyer Martin Nettesheim also came to the conclusion in an opinion on behalf of Terre des Femmes last year that a headscarf ban in schools for girls up to 14 would be compatible with the Basic Law.

GEW warns of new ban debates

The education and science union (GEW) warns of new debates about the headscarf in schools. "Instead of constantly dealing with new prohibition scenarios that only relate to individual cases, more efforts should be made to implement good integration concepts, continuous language training and, wherever possible, native language teaching in schools," said GEW board member Ilka Hoffmann "RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland".

The schools need more time and staff as well as further training for intercultural and interreligious dialogue. Funding is needed for the educationally disadvantaged and for dealing with religious conflicts.

Austria has banned headscarves in schools

The importance of a headscarf ban in schools for improving the social integration of Muslim girls is also controversial in the GEW, said Hoffmann: "In any case, the consequences of a ban for the schools and the girls concerned should be carefully considered." If a ban on certain items of clothing If the educational opportunities of already disadvantaged girls deteriorate, it does not contribute to more women's rights.

The debate on the topic flared up again in Germany after Austria had decided to ban headscarves in primary schools. A majority of the population in Germany (57 percent) had spoken out in a survey by the opinion research institute YouGov in favor of a ban in Germany as well. Several members of the Union had announced that they would put the issue on the agenda in the Bundestag. (dpa, epd)

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