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Denmark rejects demand for parliamentary debate on hijab ban in schools

March 1, 2023 at 2:51 pm

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (2nd R) speaks to the media, next to the newly appointed Minister of Justice Mattias Tesfaye (R), the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek (L) and the new Minister of Interior and Housing Christian Rabjerg Madsen at Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen on May 2, 2022 [PHILIP DAVALI/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images]

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

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

“It is the legal assessment 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.

However, the Immigration Minister, despite rejecting the far-right’s proposal, said Denmark faces “serious challenges with negative social control and oppression of young girls in certain environments.”

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

Earlier, last August, 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 recommendations sparked protests, where thousands of people took to the streets to express their reservations over the contentious ban recommendations. The wide-scale protests created an impact as two members of the commission took back their support for a hijab ban.