German Islamic groups rejectban on headscarves
21 April 2004
BERLIN – Germany’s Islamic Council – an umbrella group for over 60 Moslem groups – called Wednesday for women and girls to be allowed to wear headscarves in public institutions amid moves by regional governments to ban the scarves.
“The headscarf is only a religious accessory – not a political or religious symbol,” said a statement signed by Council members.
Moslem women are supposed to cover everything except their hands, feet and face, said the statement, adding it was widely agreed that hair on a woman’s head also should be covered.
The statement insisted the headscarf was not meant to “oppress” women. “Women … should only wear the headscarf of their own free will.” it said.
Germany’s constitution says the state is not supposed to engage either for or against any religion, the statement noted in its appeal for the headscarf to be allowed.
The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has passed a law banning teachers from wearing headscarves, and several other states plan similar legislation.
Anti-headscarf activists insist the headscarf represents an Islamist political statement.
Germany has over three million Moslems out of population of 82 million.
Subject: German news