Muslim refugee thrown off integration programme in Germany for wearing headscarf


A Muslim refugee in Germany has been fired from an internship at her local town hall after she refused to remove her headscarf.

The 48-year-old Palestinian woman, who has not been named under German privacy laws, won an internship at Luckenwalde town hall under a special programme to help refugees integrate in German society. But when she turned up to her first day at work, she was confronted by the town′s mayor, Elizabeth Herzog von der Heide.

″We told her that a neutrality requirement applies here,″ Ms von der Heide told Bild newspaper. ″Religious symbols have no place in our government. We also do not allow crucifixes on the walls.″

The mayor asked the intern to remove the headscarf, but she refused.

The incident comes amid growing debate across Europe over traditional Islamic dress codes for women. Several French towns have banned burkini swimsuits on their beaches and women have been ordered to remove them by police.

In Germany, Angela Merkel′s Christian Democrat party (CDU) has called for a ban on women wearing burkas or full-face veils while driving and at schools and universities. Nevertheless, Mrs Merkel′s party condemned the action as a step too far.

″There is no legal basis for the mayor′s decision,″ Sven Petke, a local CDU councillor said.    (The Telegraph)

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