How will Austria’s new headscarf ban affect Muslims?


With yet another European country outlawing headscarves, a recent study shows its actual impact.

Source: Washington Post

By Aala Abdelgadir and

On May 16, Austria’s parliament approved a law banning headscarves in public primary schools. While the ban does not explicitly mention headscarves, it prohibits “ideologically or religiously influenced clothing which is associated with the covering of the head.” Representatives of the conservative governing coalition have even gone so far as to frame the law as “a signal against political Islam” and an effort to “free girls from submission.”

This is the most recent prohibition of Islamic clothing, a burgeoning trend across European countries. Austria is the eighth European country to ban headscarves in a government setting and the fourth country to prohibit pupils from covering their hair in schools. Other governments, including Germany’s North-Rhine Westphalia state, are considering similar laws. Despite the increasing ubiquity of headscarf bans, there is little systematic evidence of their impact.

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