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Austrian Govt Bans The Use Headscarf For Girls

April 4, 2018

 

Girls attending Austrian day care centres and elementary schools should no longer be wearing headscarves, the right-wing government said Wednesday, announcing a plan to draft a new bill.

 

“The veiling of small children should definitely have no place in our country,” conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told reporters after a meeting.

 

He said that the step will curb gender discrimination against girls and prevent the development of marginalized “parallel societies” within Austria.

 

“It’s important to take a stance against political Islam. We want to make sure that children grow up free and that they are not pulled into these (Islamic) mechanisms,” added Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party.

 

Small girls with headscarves are not a large-scale phenomenon in Austria.
When a reporter asked for statistics that underpin the new policy, Kurz was not able to provide numbers but said that “it is a growing problem.”

 

Half a year ago, a ban on face veils came into effect in Austria – a policy that likewise affects only a small number of people.

 

So far, police have cited only 50 transgressors.

 

To pass the new headscarf ban for girls, the two right-wing government parties need the support of one opposition party in parliament, to secure a necessary two-thirds majority.


Social Democrats and Liberals signalled Wednesday that would consider the bill, while calling for a package of integration policies rather than symbolic steps like a ban.

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