Commentary ban on headscarves for girls: making girls strong

Instead of a ban: More support for girls who are being bullied at home. That would be the appropriate response to the headscarf problem.

Controversial issue: should girls be banned from wearing headscarves at school? Photo: dpa

Making girls strong. That is the pinnacle of emancipation and consensus in German society. And it hurts every time you see a girl denied the expression of strength and freedom. Among strict religious believers, there is still a patriarchal God who demands obedience, especially from women. This is the case with all religious fundamentalists, it is just particularly noticeable in Islam because of their large numbers.

All of this is unfortunate, especially when girls as young as elementary school age fall into this rut, forced or not. It is therefore understandable that there are efforts to ban the headscarf for elementary school girls. But the old problems, which also applied to the debate about female teachers wearing headscarves, reappear here as well: Such a ban encroaches on fundamental rights. On the one hand, there is the general personal right of the child, because, yes, there will also be girls who would like to wear a headscarf like their big sister, just as others already want to wear nail polish when they are seven. Then there is the parents’ right to educate. Does the headscarf compulsion endanger the welfare of the child? And why then does the bodily harm of circumcising boys not endanger the child’s welfare?

And then there is freedom of religion. Even if one were to reintroduce school uniforms, along with a ban on head coverings, in order to satisfy equal treatment, it could be close, because religious freedom is traditionally highly valued in this country.

Along the way, Islam as a whole has once again been defamed, along with all women who voluntarily choose to wear a headscarf. Is it all worth it? Are girls who are banned from wearing headscarves at school any better off if they have to wear them outside and continue to be subjected to a fundamentalist upbringing? The bottom line is a minus. More support for girls who are bullied at home is a more appropriate response to the headscarf problem: making girls strong.