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Type: Journal article
Title: Teachers’ religious headscarves in German constitutional law
Author: Taylor, G.
Citation: Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2017; 6(1):93-111
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 2047-0770
Statement of
Greg Taylor
Abstract: In 2015, the German Federal Constitutional Court decided that Muslim teachers who wished to wear a headscarf in class must generally be allowed to do so: for any prohibition to be justified the headscarf had to cause a tangible danger of unrest in the school or the school district. The Court should have paid more attention to the interests of pupils to a productive and happy education, but it could not because there is no right to school education in the Basic Law to balance against religious rights. This case therefore highlights a major danger of rights catalogues—something important might be left out. Schools already face enough challenges without having to monitor the effect of headscarves in, for example, areas with a high Muslim population in which the local community may be divided on the question, and needing to consider taking (unspecified) action. Furthermore, adolescence is already difficult enough, especially in a minority group, without the further pressure of teachers modelling behaviour which some female pupils may feel uncomfortable with. On the other hand, the Court was right to hold that it had not deviated from the ratio decidendi of an earlier decision.
Rights: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved
DOI: 10.1093/ojlr/rww064
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