Czech minister not against wearing Muslim scarves at school


31.08.2014 17:31

Prague - Czech Education Minister Marcel Chladek (Social Democrats, CSSD) does not consider the wearing of Muslim scarves at school a problem, but they must not cover the whole face, he said in the Duel programme on Prima TV today.


Ministr školství Marcel Chládek vystoupil 22. května na tiskové konferenci na SOU elektrotechnickém v Plzni. ČTK Němeček Pavel

The Education Ministry is not preparing any central recommendation in this respect, he added.

"I think that they [Muslim girls] can go to school this way and I do not regard it as a problem," Chladek said about the wearing of Muslim scarves.

However, if the scarf covered the whole face, it might be qualified as a security risk, he added.

Muslim scarves became a hot issue after a Prague school banned a student from Somalia from wearing a scarf covering her head and neck during classes. The school argued that its rules ban all headgears.

The Somali girl and another Muslim female student, coming from Afghanistan, reportedly terminated their studies at the school prematurely over the ban last autumn.

The problem was narrowed to its religious aspect only, but the school principal did not ban the scarves due to the religion promotion but she did so for safety reasons, Chladek said.

He reminded of the fact that it was a secondary nursing school.

The Somali girl turned to Ombudsman Anna Sabatova. She concluded that the school had indirectly discriminated against the girl because the hijab was an outward manifestation of her religion.

Sabatova also criticised the Czech School Inspection for its "lax" assessment of the case.

Chladek dismissed Sabatova´s criticism of the inspection´s procedure.

"The Czech Czech School Inspection acted in full compliance with law in this case. Unfortunately, the other side did not show good will to communicate," Chladek said.

Neither the girls nor their families have reacted to the inspection´s call for two months, he added.

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