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Integration & Politik

The ban on headscarves constitutes a human rights violation

It cannot be, that women who wear headscarves are forced to choose between their faith and their profession.

On 1st Baden-Wuerttemberg became the first German state to pass the law that banned the wearing of a  headscarf for public school teachers. 

Epd: Teachers in Baden-Wuerttemberg and other states of Germany are being forbidden to wear a headscarf. What do you make of that?

Hübsch: It is high time that this ban on the headscarf is overthrown, because it is based upon an erroneous premise. The decision to ban it was founded on the false assertion that the headscarf is a political symbol for the repression of women. However, empirical research that was performed in the aftermath of the passing of this law, have shown that the overpowering majority of scarf-wearing women, choose to wear it for religious reasons and see no infringement on gender equality in doing so. 

Epd: In your most recent book you say: “Banning the veil violates human rights in the same way as forcing someone to wear it.” Why?

Hübsch: Human rights include the right to self-determination and freedom of religion. Therefore, it is always problematic when anyone imposes a choice of clothes on a woman forcibly. Scarf-wearing women are forced to choose between their faith and their profession of being a teacher and that is inacceptable. To top it all off, most of the states that passed the ban allow nuns to retain their headdress when they teach in public schools. For these cases they have exception clauses that protect “Judeo-Christian” traditions. Thus, they disregard the jurisdiction of the Federal Administrative Court, according to which all faiths must be treated equally. We can hardly call ourselves a democracy if we live in a country where the religion of the majority gets preferential treatment, while the minorities are discriminated. 

Epd: You denominate the headscarf as THE symbol of emancipation of women of love. What exactly do you mean by that?

Hübsch: Wearing the headscarf out of religious convincement means that the primary motive behind it is the woman’s love for God. The headscarf expresses the closeness to the almighty, and a vivid bond to him frees the spirit from all dependencies, because God is greater. However, there is also

a societal implication in the philosophy behind this practice: it is not just about a piece of cloth, it is an attitude that goes for both men and women equally. The aim of this philosophy which pleads for a gender-neutral, stimuli-free atmosphere is gender-equality and a dignified social intercourse between the sexes. Nowadays we can observe a development in the opposite direction: an increasingly sexed-up society suggests that a woman especially is an ever-attainable good. Many young women are not even aware of the fact that they have internalized the male eye.