The Austrian parliament has passed a law that prohibits elementary school students from wearing headscarves. This adds to the existing restrictions in the country with respect to Islamic veils.
The law, which was approved last Wednesday, had the votes in favor of the government coalition of Sebastian Kurz, the Popular Party of Austria (ÖVP) and the Freedom Party (FPÖ), of the extreme right. The opposition voted against and accused the government of seeking headlines instead of improving the welfare of children in schools.
The new measure does not mention Muslim girls, but prohibits wearing clothes characterized as religious or ideological. The text refers to those handkerchiefs that cover the head and specifically those that cover much or all of the hair of the girls.
This decision comes after the previous Austrian government banned veils that cover the entire face in schools and other public places. In fact, policemen, judges or prosecutors can not wear this garment either.
However, exceptions will be made for medical reasons or for "protection from rain or snow". Rudolf Taschner, politician of the ÖVP, has said that the law "has been designed to free the girls from submission", while the education spokesperson of the FPÖ says that a message has been sent "against political Islam". For its part, the organization of the Muslim community in Austria has described the law as "destructive". . (tagsToTranslate) autria (t) prohibits (t) scarves