Austrian MPs have voted to pass a law banning the hijab in primary schools.
To avoid accusations of discrimination against Muslims, the law refers to ”all head-covering clothes of ideological or religious influence”, yet it doesn’t apply to the Jewish kippa, or to the scarf worn by Sikh men.
The law was tabled by the coalition government, made up of PM Sebastian Kurz’ right-wing ÖVP party and far-right FPÖ.
Both parties have clearly indicated that the Muslim headscarf was their target.
The Education spokesman for FPÖ, Wendelin Moelzer, said that the law was ”a signal against political Islam”, while the ÖVP MP Rudolf Taschner declared that it would protect girls against ”enslavement”.
When the law was in discussion, the Austrian Muslims organisation IGGÖ called it ”shameful” and described it as a ”diversion tactic”.
Only a minority of school girls would be affected, they said.
This ban is ”destructive and disintegrating”, and ”discriminates exclusively against Muslims”, IGGÖ president Ümit Vural said in a press release.
Almost all opposition MPs voted against the ban.__EuroNews