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Berlin court bars woman with headscarf from teaching in primary school
From the German edition of The Local and The Muslim News. Photo: by DPA - Zeynep Cetin from the Network against Discrimination and Islamophobia in the Berlin court on Wednesday.
A Berlin labour court on Wednesday found the city was right to bar a teacher who wears a Muslim headscarf from teaching primary school classes, rejecting her discrimination complaint.
Justice Arne Boyer ruled that the city state's so-called neutrality law, which bars the wearing of overt religious symbols and clothing for state employees on duty, weighed stronger than the right to free religious expression.
Primary school children should be free of the influence that can be exerted by religious symbols,” said Martin Dressler, a court spokesman.
It found however that the young woman, who was not publicly named and did not appear at the court hearing, is allowed to continue teaching older vocational students in a Berlin public secondary school.
German national law bans all civil servants from covering their faces, including with Muslim niqabs and burkas -- except for health and safety reasons, such as fire-fighters wearing breathing masks.
But there is no nationwide ban on civil servants wearing the Muslim hijab headscarves, and many states weigh the tension between freedom of religion and civil servants' neutrality rules on a case-by-case basis.