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Czech court dismisses hijab complaint

A court in the Czech Republic dismissed a complaint on Friday by a Somali woman accusing a nursing school of discrimination because she had been wearing a hijab.

Published: February 1, 2017, 11:52 am

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    The school defended their decision saying that Ayan Jamaal Ahmednuur had not been registered as a student and therefore could not have been a target of bias because she had been barred from wearing her headscarf in a nursing school.

    The Prague 10 district court agreed with the school’s version, and ruled that it had found no evidence of discrimination, AP reported.

    A group of female Czech students attended part of the trial in support of the school, while a group of Muslim citizens also showed up supporting Nuur, Czech news agency CTK reported.

    When the verdict was read out to members of the public, which included a number of anti-immigration activists, they applauded and began singing the Czech national anthem.

    Nuur was granted asylum in the Czech Republic in 2011.

    Ahmednuur alleged that on her first day at Secondary Health School the school’s principal told her to remove her hijab. Instead, she demanded an apology and 60,000 koruna in damages after quitting the course.

    “The suit which the plaintiff lodged seeking an apology and 60,000 koruna in compensation was rejected,” said Justice Daniela Cejkova, as quoted by AFP.

    The court was convinced by the school’s argument that Nuur’s hijab contravened health and safety policy.

    Unlike some other European countries, the Czech Republic does not prohibit Muslim women from wearing headscarves in some instances. However, the nursing school does prohibit the hijab as a safety measure in hospitals.

    The Czech government has been particularly opposed to the EU’s resettlement quotas, set by Germany, and in 2015 President Milos Zeman said that his country would be willing to take in only Christians.

    However, a program to take in 153 Iraqi Christian refugees was halted in 2016 after 25 of them tried to make it to Germany, RT reported.

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