Spain: Hijab’s case will be revised by judiciary

Najwa Malha began classes at the same institute where she finished the previous term, Gerardo Diego de Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). The case of this child, a Spanish Muslim, shot to limelight after Malha had to go almost to the end of the course from her institute, Camilo Jose Cela, after going to class with hijab (Islamic veil).
The family appealed the decision to the Ministry of Education, which now considers the center and the administration acted properly. The next step is to go to court. The family will file an appeal before the Administrative Courts of Madrid, as their attorney, Ivan Jimenez Aybar, said yesterday.
The lawyer filed a motion in May to the Community’s Department of Education in which it considered that the decision to take her to a new school, violated her dignity and rights (both of identity and religious freedom) and the internal rules of the institute. The Madrid region has responded with a resolution, dated Sept 20th. In the text, seen by El Pais, the Ministry of Education reports that there is no contradiction between forbidding her to wear a headscarf and the rights of students to have their identity, dignity or religious convictions respected.
Nor does it infringe the right to education of Malha, because the Community offered her “immediately” the possibility to be schooled in another center with different rules. He added that not wearing the head covering does not violate any rights of students, but “a simple rule on the clothing of students.”
Aybar Jimenez is a lawyer, but also a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He believes that the community considers the “political criteria above the legal ones” with this decision. “I firmly believe that the Judges once they have listened to our arguments, aimes at defending Najwa’s right of religious freedom, which has been ignored, intentionally and unlawfully, by the Community of Madrid“.
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