Anti-Hijab Party Wins
FRANKFURT, May 23, 2005 – In an
unhappy outcome to German Muslims in the largest regional state of North
Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the conservative anti-hijab Christian Democratic
Union (CDU) won state elections Sunday, May 22, triggering a decision to
hold snap general election across Germany in the autumn.
The CDU’s resounding victory sent
shock waves among the Muslim minority in NRW, home to one of German’s
3.4 million Muslims, the biggest Muslim gathering in the country, says
the election campaign, Christian Democrats leader in NRW Juergen
Ruettgers said he would swiftly ban hijab from public schools in
Germany’s most populated state, with 13 million.
legislatures in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Reinland-Pfalz recently turned
down proposals by the CDU to ban Muslim school teachers from wearing
highest tribunal, the constitutional court, ruled in 2003 that
Baden-Wuerttemberg was wrong to forbid a Muslim teacher from wearing
hijab in the classroom.
addition to Baden-Wuerttemberg, the states of Saarland and Niedersachsen
ban teachers from showing any religious or political affiliation,
of Hessen also made amendments to its school laws, banning teachers from
wearing any symbols of religious or political nature while allowing them
a limited right to put on Christian or western symbols.
Bavaria, laws were enforced in 2004 banning teachers from wearing
religious symbols that are not harmonious with Christian cultural
values. The state of Brandenburg made the same amendments in 2003.
Ruettgers’s plan to ban hijab within three weeks of his election
victory, despite opposition from other parties, was not the only reason
for Muslims' concern.
anti-Muslim drive is shown in many statements he made in the run up to
state elections and even before.
month, he told a German news channel that he is a Catholic who believes
Christianity presented the best image of man and should therefore be
leading all other religions worldwide.
statements drew the ire of Muslim minority leaders in the state back
million Muslims of Germany's over three million live in the state,
forming the biggest Muslim gathering in the 16-German states.
comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.
IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
23 May, 2005