Austrian MP wears headscarf to protest its ban

16th May 2019
Austrian MP wears headscarf to protest its ban

By Askin Kiyagan

VIENNA, Austria: An independent member of Austria’s parliament wore a headscarf during her general assembly speech Wednesday to protest the banning of the religious head covering in primary schools as Austrian MPs approved a law aimed at banning the headscarf in primary schools.

 

This is the first step to ban headscarves in everyday life, said Martha Bissman during the debate.

In the last decade, racism and Islamophobia have increased because of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), she said.
She said those who introduced the ban want to eliminate “high values such as tolerance and freedom of religion”.

To avoid charges that the law discriminates against Muslims, the text refers to any “ideologically or religiously influenced clothing which is associated with the covering of the head”.

However, the government says the patka head covering worn by Sikh boys or the Jewish kippa would not be affected.

Austria’s far-right government, led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the youngest leader in Europe, introduced a draft law late last year in parliament, planning to implement it without the support of the opposition.

The draft law banned headscarves for girls under the age of 10 at all primary schools, including private schools across the country.

A large number of non-governmental organizations, journalists and activists as well as the Muslim community living in Austria opposed the ban.

Austria is home to around 700,000 Muslims, including 300,000 of Turkish origin. Many of them are second or third-generation Austrian citizens from Turkish families who migrated to the country in the 1960s.

Amid widespread fears from the refugee crisis and international terrorism, Austria’s right-wing parties proposed several controversial measures including strict controls on mosques and Muslim associations and immediately closing them in the case of suspicious activity.

In October 2017, Austria imposed a face-covering ban which prevents people from concealing their face in all public places, including transport facilities.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Austrian Parliament. Photographer: Dennis Jarvis/Creative Commons]

Leave a Comment

What is 9 + 14 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets