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No: 141, 17 May 2019, Press Release Regarding the Approval of the Law on Headscarf Ban in Primary Schools in Austria

The approval of the law regarding headscarf ban in primary schools in Austria, has been the last example of similar worrisome practices with regards to freedoms in the country.

It is noteworthy that the law passed with votes of the parties of the coalition does not cover the Jewish kippah and Sikh patka.

This law is a new example of the discriminative attitude of Austria alienating Muslims from other religious groups. Having no connection with the protection of women’s and children’s rights whatsoever, this law is not in conformity with the freedom of religion and constitutes an obstacle for freedom of education of children.

It is obvious that this law will have no contribution to the integration efforts. Within the spiritual atmosphere of Ramadan, it is not possible for the Turkish community in Austria and Muslims and people including in Turkey who believe in universal values, to accept and approve this intervention in the freedom of religion.

It is worrisome that Islamophobia and xenophobia against Muslims and Turkish community living in Europe, notably in Austria, have become systematic and institutional. It would be useful if Austrian authorities could take the necessary legal measures regarding the fight against Islamophobia and xenophobia instead of interfering with religious freedoms in a discriminative manner.