German law targets Muslim women

   For years, human rights organizations have protested the laws in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan that force all women to wear religious clothing, arguing that it is a violation of the freedom of self-expression. Oddly enough, a case has been brought to light this week about a situation that entails the exact opposite law. Over the last five years, half of the states in Germany have instated laws that ban teachers and civil servants from wearing any religious dress items at school.  
    Human Rights Watch has been fervently protesting this unfortunate development. According to the organization, this restriction is discriminating against Muslim women who wear headscarfs. Although the law does not specifically target the headscarf, it is truly only the Muslim women who have been affected by this legislation. Controversy in this issue has only continued to escalate as school administrations have threatened to take disciplinary action if female teachers refuse to remove their headscarfs. Women have become forced to choose between their religion and their career. Many have decided to leave Germany due to this new restriction; however, some have chose to give up their headscarfs in order to keep their job.
    The state officials who implemented this law attempt to justify it by arguing that teachers are obligated to ensure that classrooms remain neutral in regards to issues such as religion. Human Rights Watch, however, has reported that there is absolutely no solid evidence that a teacher wearing a headscarf violates that rule. A researcher from Human Rights Watch, Haleh Chahrokh said that teachers deserve to be “judged on the basis of their conduct, not views imputed to them by virtue of a religious symbol they wear.” In fact, the ban itself obstructs the creation of a neutral environment because it undermines the women’s autonomy as well as their right to freedom of religion and expression.  
    The Human Rights Watch report stipulates the following recommendations to the German government to solve this issue:
    
•    “State governments should repeal legislation on religious dress and symbols and ensure that their legislation and procedures are compatible with Germany’s international human rights obligations, guaranteeing in particular that these do not discriminate on grounds of gender or religion.
•    Should concrete concerns arise that a teacher’s conduct infringes neutrality, those concerns should be dealt with through ordinary disciplinary procedures on a case-by-case basis.
•    The Federal Anti-discrimination Office should issue public opinions assessing the discriminatory impact of state legislation restricting the headscarf and the compatibility of such legislation with the Equal Treatment Act.
•    The United Nations special rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief should conduct a country visit to Germany to assess the compatibility of measures in place in Germany banning religious symbols and clothing in public employment with international human rights law, and issue concrete recommendations for remedying abusive policies and practices.”

    

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235 comments

Shannon S.
.9 years ago

Revealed? What, that I've traveled and seen what's going on with my own eyes? And you would flag. That's what racist cowards who keep getting kicked out of group after group for that racism and blatant disrespect do. From what I've seen out of you in the groups I've seen you in, all you have in that "heart" of your's is hatred and darkness. Multi religious? Yeah, that would come from somebody like you who never bothered to question what they were spoonfed. I experimented. I searched for what I felt life meant. And Im pretty sure I found it in Baha'i. Don't hate something you don't understand. Again, you're no better than the extremists who force women into doing stuff they don't want to do. And you're even worse on some levels, because you are not even trying to improve anything but working nonstop to tear it down. I used to feel pity for people like you. I realized that pity was wasted. Now I know you're only one of some out there that have lost touch with feelings, the meaning of life, human compassion, and understanding. And if you want to threaten to flag, I can go right to at least 4 of the groups we're in together and flag nonstop, guaranteeing suspension. Go ahead, be a coward who can do no more than spout hatred. Care2 is supposed to be for people who want to work to make a difference, not spread more hatred and destroy the freedoms of others the world over. If you hate humanity and the world so much, care2 is not for you.

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Shannon S.
.9 years ago

I completely agree with Louise. I've seen Marena's rantings in other groups that I am also a part of, and I also know the host personally who has kicked her out because of her blatant racism and hatred of anything or anyone not exactly like her. Marena, if you really are so good, you really wouldn't care if a woman chose to wear a scarf on her head or not. You wouldn't pretty much do the exact same thing the extremists are doing by forcing her not to wear it. From what I have seen, you're very much in favor of forcing anyone not like you to do what you say, even if it hurts nobody. The women aren't causing trouble. I don't even know why their headscarf is such an issue, other than that other women seem to be afraid of it or anything associated with a religion different from their own that they seem to have knowledge of only from bad news and anti websites. The men that force the woman to do it are the problem, not the women themselves. I've been to Pakistan three times, Kuwait twice, and Afghanistan once. I've lived in Pakistan a total of a year, and from what I saw and experienced there, in most cases they are not forced. Again, to those who are sick of German hatred such as this person's, feel free to come to this half German half Irish woman's country so long as you aren't living off of us. Variety is the spice of life, you only live once, why spend it in hatred?

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Marena Chen
Marena Chen9 years ago

And by the way, Luise, my husband and I had to leave Australia in 1966 because of your WHITE AUSTRALIAN POLICY. Don't you talk to me about racism. Go read up your history on that infamous policy.

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Marena Chen
Marena Chen9 years ago

Louise, what gives you the right to call ME racist? I have been in a mixed race marriage for the last 45 years. Keep your opinions to yourself about other people being racist. I'm sure if I scratch your surface a little, I'll find a racist - maybe a "politically correct" for the world to see, but a racist never-the-less. What I wrote was correct. No immigrants have the right to dictate to the country which they migrated to, that the laws of that country should be changed to suit them. My family mrigrated to Australia in 1954 and WE HAD TO FIT IN THERE. Wake up to reality.

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Shannon S.
.9 years ago

You're welcome to come here. MOst of us know that it's a very few who are the bad apples. We're not like the Germans on here, blatantly racist and thinking that because a few committed atrocities, that means every single one will. If they want to go there, Germans supported Hitler. They didn't make a move to stop the Holocaust. This just fits in with that past support so many decades ago. As long as you get a job and support yourself and your children, you are most definately welcome here.

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Shannon S.
.9 years ago

I guess it would just shock the pants off of you to know that in Pakistan, while it may be a "Muslim" country, women are not forced to cover and it isn't a law. I'm an American white woman. I've been there three times and I dressed without covering my head. Many women don't, and even wear the same clothing we wear. I stick to what I said before, how is it that the racist people on this board are so worked up over whether a woman covers up or not? In that way, you're taking that right away from her, being no better than men in other countries who force a woman TO cover. How are you any better by telling her she can't have that security in covering up? I know when I was a Muslim, I did feel a lot more secure when I covered. I had no problem with it. I don't get, even now, why you are so amazingly insulted if a woman has a piece of fabric on her head. She isn't forcing you to wear it. She's just going about her business. And for the record, nowhere in their religion does it say a woman is to go through what you see going on. Rape? No, the rapist is to be put to death, not the victim, but of course males do what they want and act like gigantic babies throwing tantrums while using something that's supposed to be good against women and the rest of the world. Not all of the "Muslim" countries force women to cover. Here in the US, it is honored, so for all you Muslims who are sick of being abused by the Germans (of which I am half, half Irish and half German)....

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Louise Bradbury
Louise Bradbury9 years ago

Marena I think that you need to treat people with a little respect, I have to agree with Tufail and at least respect people for what they are,Yes we all have to abide by rules but with a little respect, I bet Marena that your history and background is made up of different nations and you may not be here had it been for them to settle in another country.
I think that you are very racist and need to get out of the house.Yes there are bad eggs in every pack but we still have RESPECT FOR PEOPLE. "SMILE"

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Marena Chen
Marena Chen9 years ago

You are wrong Tufail. If I come to a muslim country, I have to abide by THEIR rules and laws. You come to MY country, YOU abide by OUR rules and laws. Otherwise, just stay at home, don't come to MY country. WE don't tell YOU what to do in YOUR country, so don't try to tell US what do in OUR country. Do you understand that?

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Tufail Ahmad
Tufail Ahmad9 years ago

Country Laws can be ammended not the Human laws ,,,,,,,,,

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Tufail Ahmad
Tufail Ahmad9 years ago

I think before preaching Muslims to abide by the customs of a particular country, why cant they adopt to the Muslims ways of dignity ,,,,
& if seen in the context of Human Rights ,,,, anyone with a bit of humanity will recognise the rights of Muslims specially the ladies ,,,, if someone exposes his/her body and is not pointed out in light of the human right's standards then why a Muslim lady covering her body be pointed out??? Just for the mere reason that she wants to keep away herself from the lustful eyes of males chauvinists???

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