Berlin court rules in favor of hijab-wearing teacher


A Muslim woman with Hijab in front of the Brandenburg gate the most recognized landmark of Berlin, Germany. The Muslim Times has the best collection promoting Hijab and modest dressing

Source: DW

Berlin’s Labor Court has ruled that the city violated a teacher’s rights by denying her a job. The woman had been told that she could not wear her headscarf while working because of an ideological neutrality law.

Berlin may not deny candidates for teaching positions at public schools because they wear a Muslim headscarf, a court ruled on Thursday. The decision came after a woman was told she could not teach at an elementary school because her hijab violated the state of Berlin’s neutrality law.

The defendant, who had worked in Berlin as an Islamic religious studies teacher for several years, had appealed a January 2015 decision in favor of the state government. Now, she has been awarded two months salary and part of her legal costs as restitution from the government.

“We are very satisfied and relieved,” said her attorney, Maryam Hashemi.

The court ruled that it was within the school’s purview to grant the defendant an exception to the neutrality law on the grounds of religious freedom. By simply dismissing her candidacy because of the hijab, the court said, the school had broken anti-discrimination statutes. Berlin would have had to prove that wearing a headscarf constituted a “concrete threat to peace at the school,” which it was unable to do.

The state argued that it had tried to come to an agreement with the applicant, suggesting that she wear a wig instead because it was “ideologically neutral.” The defendant’s lawyer scoffed at the suggestion, saying that “for religious reasons,” wearing a wig was out of the question.

Germany’s top court has already ruled twice that all-out bans on Muslim headscarves in the public sector are unconstitutional. Germany has eschewed decisions made by neighbors like France and the Netherlands in cracking down on the wearing of Islamic religious garb such as the burka.

Categories: Europe, Germany, Hijab, The Muslim Times

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1 reply

  1. How can a headband and long skirt be described as ‘too religious’? Ridiculous. I see nothing wrong with wearing a headscarf, and find the French outlawing of them unfair and unnecessary. But there are other religions and sects that insist on a certain dress code for their followers, most orders of Christian nuns for example, are also covered from head to toe. Girl dressing modestly is seen as a religious symbol, yet girls in short skirts hitched up revealing their knickers is perfectly acceptable and not an insult to Christianity and therefore also a religious issue? It’s funny how democracy is linked to freedom when it seems to be taking people’s freedom away, the freedom to choose.You shouldn’t be able to order a woman to go around wrapped up from head to toe, but you shouldn’t be able to order her to go around half naked either. What is wrong with a girl wearing a long skirt.

    According to a Japanese revert, “the hijab reminds people who see it that God exists, and it serves as a constant reminder to me that I should conduct myself as a Muslim. Just as police officers are more professionally aware while in uniform, so I had a stronger sense of being a Muslim wearing my hijab”. ‘Revert’ not ‘convert’ coz every human were born into Islam but the environment changes one faith. Wearing the hijab soon became spontaneous, albeit purely voluntary. No human being could force me to wear it; if they had, perhaps I would have rebelled and rejected it. However, the first Islamic book I read used very moderate language in this respect, saying that “Allah recommends it (the hijab) strongly” and since Islam (as the word itself indicates) means we are to obey Allah’s will I accomplished my Islamic duties willingly and without difficulty, Alhamdulillah.

    The hijab reminds people who see it that God exists, and it serves as a constant reminder to me that I should conduct myself as a Muslim. Just as police officers are more professionally aware while in uniform, so I had a stronger sense of being a Muslim wearing my hijab. My hijab made me happy; it was both a sign of my obedience to Allah and a manifestation of my faith. I did not need to
    utter beliefs, the hijab stated them clearly for all to see, especially fellow Muslims, and thus it helped to strengthen the bonds of sisterhood in Islam.

    Muslims are accused of being over-sensitive about the human body but the degree of sexual harassment which occurs these days justifies modest dress. Just as a short skirt can send the signal that the wearer is available to men, so the hijab signals, loud and clear: I am forbidden for you.

    Practising Muslims, whether those born in Muslim families or those reverted to Islam, choose Islam rather than the illusory freedom of secular life. If it oppresses women, why are so many well-educated young women in Europe, America, Japan, Australia, indeed all over the world, abandoning liberty and independence and embracing Islam?

    A person blinded by prejudice may not see it, but a woman in hijab is as brightly beautiful as an angel, full of self-confidence, serenity, and dignity.

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