“Unveil the girls and educate the boys” say Belgian protesters

28th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A few hundred people took to the streets of Brussels on Saturday calling on the authorities to impose a ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf in Francophone schools.

The view, according to the organisers of the demonstration, is that politicians should ban all religious symbols from schools in Francophone education.

“Unveil the girls and educate the boys” is one of the slogans used by demonstrators.

According to one of the advocates of a headscarf ban, Karima, there is huge social pressure in schools to wear a headscarf.  “Those who don’t wear a headscarf are cursed at and accused of not being religious or of being a prostitute.”

Nadia Geerts of the organisation RAPPEL called on politicians to take a decision to protect young girls from the obligation of wearing a headscarf.

The debate over whether or not to allow religious symbols in schools has been in the spotlight over the last few months, both in Flanders as well as in Wallonia, where a number of schools have implemented a ban individually.

After a turbulent start to the school year, the network of Flemish Community schools decided to implement a ban on headscarves and other religious symbols in all schools.

The debate is still very much alive in Belgian schools around the country. 


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