Rather unveiled

Rather unveiled

There are no numbers. Nevertheless, women's rights activists warn against an increasing spread of the Muslim headscarf among girls in Germany. You speak of child abuse and demand a ban on children's headscarves.

The women's rights organization Terre des Femmes, with prominent support, is calling for a headscarf ban for underage girls. "The veiling of girls has not been an isolated phenomenon for quite some time," the organization's national director, Christa Stolle, said in Berlin on Thursday. It is a violation of children's rights. One wants a ban on the "child's headscarf" for minors from all cultural backgrounds, she said.

Alice Schwarzer co-signatory

Terre des Femmes has launched a petition to that effect. Among the first signatories are actress Sibel Kekilli, women's rights activist Alice Schwarzer, the mayor of Tubingen, Boris Palmer (Greens), and liberal Muslim lawyer Seyran Ates.

The veiling of girls represents discrimination against and sexualization of minors, says the text of the petition, which is supported by at least 100.000 signatures are to be handed over to the Federal Ministry of Justice. So far, less than 10.000 gathered. The petition calls for a ban on headscarves for minors in public places, such as schools.

Ates: form of sexual abuse

Ates said the headscarf for minors is a form of sexual abuse because of the sexualization it entails.

"Religious freedom does not mean that everyone can do what they want," the lawyer said. It needs to be discussed where the limits of religious freedom are, she said. In addition, there is also a "religious maturity" that begins at the age of 14.

There are no figures on how many girls in Germany already wear headscarves, they said. "One girl wearing a headscarf is enough for me," Ates said. "Human rights are not measured by numbers."

The vice president of the Federal Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents, Sigrid Peter, said as a supporter of the petition that minors who wear headscarves are not supplied enough with vitamin D. They are also less active, do less sports and take part in swimming lessons much less often. The rights of the children would be trampled with the so-called child head cloth, because not the girls would decide, but the parents.

Ban on headscarves for children controversial

The president of the Federal Working Group of Immigrant Associations, Ali Ertan Toprak, said that the "children's headscarf" is not about the fulfillment of a religious duty. Rather, men and women should be socially separated from each other.

Terre-des-Femmes executive director Stolle complained that the political opposing side was making a massive stir against a ban under the keyword #NichtOhneMeinKopftuch (NotWithoutMyHeadscarf). Large campaign platforms did not dare to spread the petition for a ban.

A headscarf ban for children is controversial. Among others, the integration commissioner of the German government, Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU), had also spoken out against it. North Rhine-Westphalia's state government is considering introducing a "blanket" ban on headscarves for children in public institutions. (CBA)

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