Morocco hijab ban criticised

Several schools and businesses in Morocco have banned female students and women from wearing headscarves, Islamic newspaper al-Tajdid has said.

The hijab is an Islamic religious obligation

The newspaper, which is the mouthpiece of the Islamic Justice and Development Party, said since the September 11 attacks and the May 2003 attacks in Casablanca many women wearing the hijab have been sent home from work.

Moroccan girls who wish to attend military academies, become air hostesses or join the police force “have certain rules imposed on them which do not leave open the possibility of wearing the headscarf”, wrote the paper on Wednesday.

Morocco criticised

It cited several cases of women who were sent home from work or not allowed to attend higher education institutions “for the simple reason that they wore a headscarf”.

One student at the prestigious Ecole Muhammadia school of engineering “only wears her headscarf outside the school, fearing she will be expelled”, said the paper.

It condemned the alleged bans, recalling that Morocco’s “constitution says that Islam is the official religion and the kingdom recognises human rights as they are recognised on an international scale”. contacted the Moroccan interior ministry to comment on the accusations, but no one was available to respond.

Since the Casablanca attacks in 2003, which killed 45 people, the Moroccan government has been accused of human rights abuses in cracking down on Islamist dissent.

Source: AFP