Headscarf ban: eight arrested outside school in Antwerp
The unrest is due to the new rule banning the Muslim headscarf from being worn at school which came into effect on the 1 September this year.
Antwerp police arrested eight youngsters at the Royal Athenaeum in Hoboken on Monday because they violated a ban on demonstrations.
A left wing student organisation gathered before school opening at Athenaeum to hand out pamphlets and urge students not to accept the headscarf ban.
Last Friday the mayor of Antwerp, Patrick Janssens (Flemish socialist), issued a ban on demonstrations at the school and the police quickly intervened.
"The police have detained eight youngsters. A ninth person was detained during protests last week," says a police spokesman.
A group of Muslim women also gathered in front of the school, but retreated on to the surrounding streets when the police arrived at the scene. Calm returned to the school and surroundings at about 11am.
However, the protest against the Muslim headscarf ban at the school continues. Vandals broke into the school during Sunday night and spray painted slogans on doors of the school. They also threw school books out of the windows.
The vandals spray painted the slogan 'No headscarf, no school' onto the school’s entrance. They also smashed a window to get inside the school.
"They went in through the side door and went to the administrative offices," said headmaster Chris Weyers. "They sabotaged the internet and jammed some doors. They took some paper and flung it around the hallway. They threw books out of the window."
The police are investigating the incident. The headmaster believes that it was the work of groups who oppose the headscarf ban.