Sweden town votes to BAN Islamic headscarf in schools ‘sexualisation of women’

The southern Swedish town of Staffanstorp voted to ban the hijab in schools for children under the age of 13. It is the first time any area in the Scandinavian nation has voted in favour of the ban, and is part of a new “integration plan”. Christian Sonesson, Mayor of Staffanstorp, who is a member of the centre-right Moderate Party said the headscarf is “sexualisation of women”.

He told Sydsvenskan newspaper: “The headscarf is a symbol that women are not available.

“It’s a sexualisation of women and it’s unreasonable to do that to young girls.

“I have nothing against adult women wearing headscarves, but these are small children, little girls.”

The measure was won by seven votes on Wednesday, May 29, six which came from Moderate party members and one from a member of the anti-immigrant party Sweden Democrats.

But the vote has faced criticism from leftist parties, including governing party Social Democrats.

Pierre Sjöström, a councillor for the town’s Social Democrat opposition accused Mr Sonesson of “lifting up a non-problem”.

He told the Swedish newspaper: “It’s just cosmetic. The Moderates don’t even know if we have pupils who wear headscarves.

“This is a solution to a problem that we don’t have.”

A Swedish lawyer has also branded the ban “religious discrimination”.

Andreas Landholm, lawyer for the Swedish National Agency for Education told Swedish broadcaster SR the ban contravened the law.

He said: “We ruled that it is not permitted or compatible with religious freedom or discrimination laws to bring in a blanket ban against the veil in schools.”

In their first draft of the law, the two parties had confused the headscarf and the veil, and in the final law that passed the word “veil” had been changed to “headscarf”.

The new draft also limited the ban to children in Sweden’s school year seven (which starts at 13) and below.

Mr Sonesson chose to go into coalition with the Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant party Sweden Democrats after the Swedish election in September 2018.

He did so despite being able to build a majority with his party’s more liberal allies on the centre right.

The National Agency for Education has made the assessment that the ban on the veil, or headscarf, contradicts some of Sweden’s government core believes as well as the European Convention.

In both of these, religious freedom is guaranteed and with the freedom of religion follows the right to wear religious clothing.

Mr Sonesson added: “This is not an easy question. We will not prevent children from coming to school.

“This must never affect the girls. There is a duty at school and this must be communicated. Children must be allowed to be children.”

There is an exception for schools and workplaces – they can ban the veil, but then it is required that the veil threatens the working environment or safety.

The vote will now go to the Chancellor of Justice in Sweden to decide whether it can be implemented.

source: express.co.uk