“Bans only provoke problems”

Schoolgirl with headscarf © Oliver Berg

In the debate over a headscarf ban for girls under 14, school experts oppose the move in North Rhine-Westphalia. The discussion is not very sensitive or helpful at this point, is one criticism.

This is the opinion of the state chairwoman of the primary school association, Christiane Mika, in an interview with the "Rheinische Post" newspaper. Your association sees no need for action. Mika, who is herself head of an elementary school in Dortmund, added that at her school, 280 of 345 students are Muslim; six girls wear headscarves.

Skeptical expressed themselves in the newspaper also the comprehensive school directors. "Even though the number of children wearing headscarves has increased in comprehensive schools, it is not a relevant phenomenon at the moment," said Mario Vallana, state spokesman for the Comprehensive School Directors Association. "In principle, we don't think much of blanket bans. The goal of comprehensive schools is to integrate as many children as possible. A ban is likely to provoke more problems than it solves."

German teachers' association sees proposal as positive

In contrast, the head of the German Teachers' Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, and the chairwoman of the German Philologists' Association, Susanne Lin-Klitzing, assessed the move as rather positive in the "Bild" newspaper at the beginning of the week.

The director of the largest institute of Islamic theology in Germany at the University of Osnabruck, Bulent Ucar, however, does not consider a ban to be "expedient". "Ultimately, you solidify parallel societies because the children may appear differently at school than they do privately in their families," he said in Die Welt.

In addition, the religion teacher trainer referred to a small number of children with headscarves at elementary schools.

Nevertheless, he said, "the state must of course intervene and place the best interests of the child at the center of its actions" if girls are required to wear headscarves against their will. Ucar added: "I see the teachers in the responsibility to observe the children and young people attentively. Where there are questionable developments, you have to talk to the parents – at best also in cooperation with the mosque associations."The school should not shy away from "coercive measures".

Guler: "It's about free development"

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Integration of North Rhine-Westphalia, Serap Guler (CDU), once again emphasized the demand for a ban. "It's about the free development of children, not about integration," the Muslim woman told the ZDF morning show. The headscarf is supposed to hide a woman's charms from men, if this happens to girls of elementary school age, she would be "sexualized" by it.

In addition, she contradicted that a ban would also have to question a Christian cross on a necklace. For a girl, she says, it is much easier to take off a chain after puberty because nothing fundamental in her life would change. But a child with a headscarf would not succeed so easily because of his social environment.

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