Beret instead of headscarf for Muslim women

15th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 February 2007, Dusseldorf, Germany (dpa) - A Muslim woman teacher who was ordered to stop wearing a headscarf at school has gone to a labour tribunal in Germany to assert the right to wear a beret instead. Her lawyer said Wednesday his client, 35, was not a religious extremist, but had a cultural reluctance to show her hair. She wears the French-style felt beret pulled down so her hair does not show. The lawyer told judges that experts should give evidence that a beret is not a religious symbol and the

15 February 2007

Dusseldorf, Germany (dpa) - A Muslim woman teacher who was ordered to stop wearing a headscarf at school has gone to a labour tribunal in Germany to assert the right to wear a beret instead.

Her lawyer said Wednesday his client, 35, was not a religious extremist, but had a cultural reluctance to show her hair. She wears the French-style felt beret pulled down so her hair does not show. 

The lawyer told judges that experts should give evidence that a beret is not a religious symbol and therefore cannot be banned in a secular school under laws requiring religious neutrality.

The woman trains behaviourally disturbed children at a secondary school in the western city of Dusseldorf, where authorities imposed a ban on scarves last year.

When she changed to a beret, the principal told her to remove it. She ignored the demand and received a warning from the education authority. She asked the labour tribunal to set the warning aside.

The lawyer said a beret was a way of reconciling western culture and the woman's Turkish origins. But a state lawyer argued it was being used to dodge North Rhine Westphalia's state regulation against religious symbols in public schools.

Berets, often part of military uniform, were originally worn by northern Basque peasants.

The case was adjourned to June 1.

DPA

Subject: German news

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