The Austrian government has enacted a headscarf ban in kindergartens across the country and is now considering widening the ban to include elementary schools.
The conservative-populist government enacted the headscarf ban for kindergartens on Wednesday which will mean that children will not be allowed to wear the garment with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz saying that girls should not be forced to cover themselves up in schools, Kronen Zeitung reports.
Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ), said that he wants to take the ban even further into the country’s elementary schools, affecting children under the age of 14. Mr Strache added that a constitutional amendment to solve the issue was not off the table.
Spokesman of the Austrian teachers’ union Paul Kimberger backed a ban on children under 14 wearing the garment saying: “Children should develop freely.”
Mr Kimberger also put his support behind banning teachers from wearing the headscarf, as well.
In addition, Kimberger denounced allowing young children to participate in Ramadan fasting during the day and would even go as far as supporting a law to protect children from fasting, saying: “It is irresponsible that children in the midst of development are not allowed to eat and drink throughout the day.”
Poll: Majority of Austrians Against Muslim Women Wearing Headscarves https://t.co/QsenLGOgNf
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The current Austrian government has promised to focus on combatting not only the rise of parallel societies in the country but has also attempted to stem the rise of radical Islam by closing several mosques and looking to deport radical imams.
Earlier this year, FPÖ Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said he wanted to go even further and criminalise those who advocate for replacing Austrian constitutional laws with Sharia.
“Those who want to pass the Sharia law over the Austrian laws and want to bring upon us a theocracy in place of our democracy belong in court!” he said.