Posted by: becketfund | February 9, 2009

Sweden: Muslim Woman Sues School over Niqab

STOCKHOLM – A Muslim woman has reported an adult education college in Spångato the Equality Ombudsman (DO) after being told that she could not wear an Islamic headscarf in class, The Local reported on February 9. In her report to DO dated January 20, the woman alleges  she was told that she could not wear her niqab in class or in contact with the school’s staff. The woman explains that the school justified its decision by referring to a recent decision by the National Agency for Education (Skolverket), which banned the wearing of some Muslim headscarves in class. The college’s rector, Britt-Marie Johansson, has defended the school’s right to exclude the student from classes, referring to the education agency’s ruling. “At Västerorts vux it is not allowed in the classroom to cover one’s face, with a veil or similar. This rule also applies in contact with staff. This means that neither a niqab nor a burqa can be worn.” However, the student argues that freedom of religion is enshrined in law in Sweden and this should take precedence over the education agency ruling.



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