for the last few months, life for this 17-year-old has been anything but peaceful.
She was forced to leave school when she donned the hijab – or Islamic headscarf – in March, after the Kosovan government banned them in state schools.
The local authorities are deciding whether to allow her back when classes resume after the summer holiday.
“I felt very sad and discriminated against because I want to have rights like others – I want to go to school,” Florinda tells me, as we sit on the terrace of her family house.
“If they tell me to take it off, I won’t do that and I will leave the school because the hijab is more important to me than the school. It’s the most important thing in my life,” she adds. (Well, your choice… 🙄 ).
The government decided to forbid the wearing of headscarves in public schools late last year, in accordance with the constitution that declares Kosovo – which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 – a secular country.
Kosovo’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Vlora Citaku, says other reasons lie behind her government’s position.
“The scarf in Kosovo is not an element of our identity. It’s a sign of submission of female to male, rather than a sign of choice“, she explains.
“I don’t think a 16 or 17-year-old, let alone a five-year-old, can take the conscious decision to wear a scarf.”
I ask her what the difference is between a 17 and an 18-year-old, and why she would allow headscarves in university but ban them in public schools.
“After 18 there is an overall perception that a person is capable of making their own decision, rather than having a decision imposed,” she says, contending that most people support the ban.
via BBC News – Headscarf ban sparks debate over Kosovo’s identity.
They add that there is a Catholic Cathedral which is being built in Pristina (Kosovo), while 90% of the people in the country are Muslims. And? What has to do building a church with wearing the hijab? Don’t Muslims build mosques also? And what has to do a building with women’s submission to men? 😯