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Denmark rejects push to debate in parliament ban on hijab in schools

The Danish government has rejected a far-right political party’s demand for a parliamentary debate on imposing a ban on headscarves in schools.

Immigration Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek said in a written comment that the proposed ban would be contrary to Danish law and the country’s global commitments.

“It is the legal assessment that the proposal to ban Islamic headscarves in primary schools cannot be implemented within the framework of the Constitution and Denmark’s international obligations,” he noted in his comment on Tuesday.

Despite rejecting the far-right’s proposal, the immigration minister, however, said Denmark faces “serious challenges with negative social control and oppression of young girls in certain environments.”

“Therefore, the government cannot support the proposal. But we will nevertheless continue to fight honour-related coercion and oppression and negative social control.”

In August 2022, the Danish Commission for the Forgotten Women’s Struggle – a body set up by the Danish government – in its contentious recommendations called for the hijab (headscarf) bans in Danish elementary schools to halt “honour-related social control” of girls from minority backgrounds.

The commission’s report, conducted on behalf of the Danish Ministry of Education, said the “use of scarves in elementary school can create a division between children in two groups – ‘us’ and ‘them’”.

The recommendations for a ban sparked protests where thousands of people took to the streets to express their opposition.

The wide-scale protests prompted two members of the commission to take back their support for a hijab ban.

READ MORE: How World Hijab Day started

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