Austria To Ban Headscarves At Kindergartens And Schools
by Egri Nök
An original translation from Die Welt:
Austria: Sebastian Kurz announces headscarf ban for kindergartens and schools
April 04, 2018
“Veiling little children is something that should definitely have no place in our country”, said Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. With this, he wanted to prevent discrimination at a young age.
It is the will of the Austria government that in the future, girls won’t be allowed anymore to wear a headscarf in kindergarten and elementary school. “Veiling little children is something that should definitely have no place in our country,” said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday in Vienna.
It was about granting the same opportunities to all children. “And this also means that there isn’t any discrimination at a young age,” said Kurz. The new law will be titled “Child Protection Law”. “All children should have equal opportunities, girls and boys,” said Kurz.
A respective motion is to be formulated no later than the beginning of summer. To elevate the law to constitutional status, the government — conservative ÖVP and right-wing FPÖ — will have to convince one opposition party of their plan. FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache wanted to combat “undesirable developments regarding political Islam” with his headscarf ban for girls.
50 people charged for veiling their faces
It is unclear how many children will be affected. There are no figures. “It is certainly a symbolic gesture”, said Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP).
In Austria, a general ban on veiling the face came into effect six months ago. The anti-face-curtaining law means that in public spaces and in public buildings, clothes or other items shall not disguise or veil “the facial features in such way that they aren’t recognizable anymore”. Dressing up in the context of Halloween is not affected by this law, the decree specifies.
Since then, approximately 50 people have been charged. The law is specifically directed at veiling with a burqa or a niqab, and it is meant to promote integration of Muslims. According to the law, it is punishable with a fine of up to €150 if the face is made invisible between chin and brows.
Note from the Baron: Will schoolgirls who go skiing be denied the use of the burqiski?