Fifth German State Plans Headscarf Ban | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.02.2004
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Fifth German State Plans Headscarf Ban

The western German state of Saarland has become the fifth in the country to propose legislation that would ban Muslim teachers from wearing headscarves in public schools. The proposal states that neutrality in public schools must not be endangered "through political, religious or ideological displays" and specifically names wearing headscarves as an example. Displaying Christian and Jewish symbols, however, would be allowed under the law because the teaching of Western religions is part of the public school curriculum in Saarland, a conservative-governed state on the border with France. The ban has still to be approved by the state legislature. Germany's 16 states have been divided over whether to ban Muslim teachers from covering their heads in the classroom since the nation's highest court ruled in September that veils were allowed unless existing legislation specifically outlawed them.