By EMMA R.,
Austria introduced a ban on full-face veils in October 2017, with the government describing the move as an attempt to promulgate Austrian values and promote integration.And Austrian lawmakers have now passed a bill imposing a ban on headscarves for Muslim girls in primary schools, Sputnik News reports.The proposed law received the backing of the governing centre-right People’s Party and the right-wing Freedom Party, while the opposition parties all rejected the bill.According to the wording of the legislative proposal,
all clothing covering the head for ideological or religious reasons will be subject to the ban.To avoid the impression that it targets Muslims, the text refers to any “ideologically or religiously influenced clothing which is associated with the covering of the head”.
The government said that the patka head covering worn by Sikh boys or the Jewish yarmulke would not be affected because the law refers to head garments that “cover all of the hair or large parts of it.”Exceptions are made for head coverings for medical reasons or protection against rain or snow.According to one of the legislators, Rudolf Tascher from the People’s Party, the bill intends to liberate girls “from submission”.
At the same time, an education spokesperson for the Freedom Party, Wendelin Mölzer, said that the proposed law was sending a signal “against political Islam”.Austria’s official Muslim community organisation has condemned the law, saying that they would contest the bill, which they described as “destructive” and “discriminatory against Muslims”.The law was passed as Muslims celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.