Monday, April 27, 2009

The Beret and Islam

Two recent clippings on the Islam and the Beret: A German teacher is not allowed to wear her beret while at work, while at the same time two Dutch imams receive their G.I.-Beret to wear on the job... 

It's not that long ago that the beret was a pretty standard piece of headgear for teachers in many European countries (and uniformed school children in France had to wear the Basque). 

Islam in Germany: Beret not allowed either

A Muslim teacher who replaced her head-scarf with a beret pulled down over her ears has been fired from school.

 The teacher, who tried to preserve her religious values and at the same time follow Germany’s social norms lost a lawsuit Friday against a German state which banned religious head-dress from public schools; IRNA reported.

Presiding judge Heike Menche of a labour tribunal in the western city of Dusseldorf upheld a pre-dismissal warning issued to the woman, 35, who trains children in life skills at a city school. The woman adopted the pink beret after North Rhine-Westphalia state followed the example of Turkey and France by outlawing head scarves in public schools, saying they were a sectarian symbol. 

This is while an estimated 3.2 million of the 82 million people in Germany have an Islamic heritage.

The woman denied her beret was religious and said she wore it for cultural reasons, since she felt “undressed” when bare-headed.

Eight of sixteen states in Germany including the capital have banned Islamic head scarves from public schools. 


Netherlands: Army employs two imams

08 April 2009 

Starting Thursday, the Dutch army is employing two imams. A spokesperson for the defense ministry confirmed the report Tuesday to the Vrij Nederland weekly.

The imams are Ali Eddaoudi and Souad Aydin. They are respectively of Moroccan and Turkish origins.

The two Islamic clerics trained in recent weeks in the military in order to be able to work in the army. On Thursday they will be presented with their beret at a private ceremony at the Royal Military Academy in Breda.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)


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