German States Divided Over Headscarf Ban

Education ministers from Germany's 16 states issued a statement on Friday saying seven states would pass laws banning teachers from wearing headscarves, or "hijab" as it is called in Arabic, while eight states saw no reason for new laws and one, the city state Bremen, was undecided on the issue. The states were reacting to a recent decision by Germany's constitutional court, which said it saw no reason to ban female Muslim teachers from wearing a headscarf in the classroom, unless the individual state expressly forbid it by passing legislation to that effect. The court decision has caused much confusion and leaves Germany without a national policy on an issue causing controversy across Europe.