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Flemish greens want a lift on headscarf ban in schools

The green party in Flanders want to lift a general ban on headscarves in schools. Credit: Pxhere

Dutch-speaking green party Groen want to strike down a general ban on the wearing of headscarves in Flemish schools and only ban them on a case by case basis, a party member announced Wednesday.

Elisabeth Meuleman, a Groen MP, announced that her party would seek to reintroduce a decree that will allow students to wear headscarves “as the general rule.”

In a tweet, Meuleman said headscarves should only be forbidden temporarily, in cases where there is evidence of coercion or other problems, adding that her party’s proposal was “the only just legal course.”

The announcement follows news on Tuesday that a court ruled in favour of a student in the Flemish city of Leuven, overruling a ban by her school which kept her from wearing a headscarf, according to RTBF.

The court’s ruling said that the school, managed by Flemish public education body GO!, violated the student’s freedom of religion and said the school could be fined up to €300 if it sought to impose the ban again.

The school’s ban on the headscarf was part of an overall ban on the wearing of religious or ideological markings imposed by GO!

The court’s lifting on the ban is only applicable to the student plaintiff, but Flemish nationalist party Nieuw Vlaamse Alliantie reportedly want to enshrine the ban through a government decree.

Groen have said that such a measure would be in violation with the Constitution of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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