German Court Offers Mixed Ruling in Headscarf Case

In September Germany’s highest court issued a mixed ruling in the case of a Muslim woman who was denied a job at a German school because insisted on wearing a headscarf on the job.

Fereshta Ludin, 31, had successfully interned at another school, but when she applied for a job she was refused unless she agreed to remove the headscarf while teaching.

Annette Schaven, education minister in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg where Ludin sought employment, said the headscarf was “understood as a symbol of the exclusion of women from civil and cultural society” and thus was inappropriate to wear as a teacher.

The German high court ruled that on the one hand, Ludin should not have been denied employment at the school since there is no law against teachers wearing headscarves in public schools. On the other hand, it also ruled that state legislatures in Baden-Wuerttemberg and other German states could pass laws banning teachers from wearing headscarves.


Muslim teacher wins headscarf fight. The BBC, September 24, 2003.

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