Austria bans headscarf in primary schools

The Members of Parliament of Austria on 15 May 2019 approved a new law, banning headscarf in primary schools. The law was proposed by the ruling right-wing government.

Under the law, any ideological or religiously influenced clothing, which is associated with the covering of the head, will be banned. Despite its wide description, the representatives of both parts of Austria’s governing coalition, the center-right People’s Party and the far-right Freedom Party, have made it clear that the law targets the Islamic headscarf.

According to Education spokesman of the Freedom Party, the law was a signal against political Islam while People’s Party MP Rudolf Taschner said that the measure was necessary to free girls from subjugation.

Austria previously had introduced a ban on full-face covering in 2017 as a part of its integration policy, which was aimed at limiting the visibility of orthodox Islam in public life. However, the ban was criticized by the police after it emerged that the law mainly resulted in the issuing of warnings against people wearing smog masks, skiing gear, and animal costumes.

Sri Lanka also announced a ban on coverage of the face with burqa, veil or in any manner that prevents identification of the person in late April 2019. The order came a week after coordinated blasts hit three churches and three luxury hotels in the nation, killing over 250 people and injuring more than 500 others.

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