Headscarf ban: eight arrested outside school in Antwerp

8th September 2009, Comments 1 comment

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.



1 Comment To This Article

  • Elaine Ng posted:

    on 22nd September 2009, 01:51:02 - Reply

    If they want education and live in Belgium, then follow the rules and laws. Religion beliefs and practise should be in their hearts not by demonstrations. This actually degrading Islam and made others looked down on them. Singapore did it right by banning scarfs, hijabs, crosses, and other religion symbols during schooling hours. After study hours and outside school gates, you can wear what you want. If the fanatic Islamics still wanted to enforce their females to cover up even in schools, they can go to other Islamic countries to study. If they wanted to study for free in Singapore, then follow the rules and laws- they did of course!

    Showing your affiliate to your religion is highly praised and encouraged but by fighting, vandalism, killing to prove it, are totally unacceptable by mentally sound human beings. These students should think about other students and communities beliefs and feelings as well. The way they handled the ban showed how selfish they were and brought conclusions to eyes of the world, Islam is not a tolerance and feared religion. If Islam is rational, tolerance, humble, respect other non-mosleems as they claimed, then prove it.