A Muslim teen in Germany has been told by her school that she cannot attend class while wearing her niqab.
According to TheLocal.de, an 18-year-old night school student from Osnabrück took her school to court after she was told she cannot wear her niqab to class. A niqab is a type of conservative Islamic clothing that covers the entire body, with a small opening for the eyes.
The teen tried to solve the problem quietly with the school prior to going to court, but the school was unwilling to work something out with her. She offered to show her face to a female staff member every day for identification before class, but the school refused the offer, telling her she simply could not wear her niqab to class.
The teen took the school to court over her right to wear the veil to class, but she did not show up for the court date due to the overwhelming media attention the case had received. Because she did not attend her appointment in court, the judge decided to uphold the school’s ban.
According to Newsiosity, the school says that their reason for banning the teen’s niqab is that teachers rely on open communication with students, which includes facial expressions. From the school’s point of view, the niqab inhibits the student’s ability to communicate with her teachers.
The student can attempt to appeal the court’s decision, though it is unclear whether or not she plans to do so.
There has been much debate in Germany and other European countries about the banning of face veils and female Muslim garb, such as the niqab and the burqa, in public places. Several coastal towns in France came under fire for banning “burqini” bathing suits from the town’s beaches. German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly supports a ban of face-covering veils “wherever it is legally possible.”
Sources: TheLocal.de, Newsiosity / Photo Credit: Marcello Casal Jr/ABr./Wikimedia Commons