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Muslim woman denied classes over hijab may attend after all

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Muslim woman denied classes over hijab may attend after all
Muslim women wearing headscarves in class. File photo: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP.
17:58 CEST+02:00
A young Muslim woman told she could not attend classes in Valencia unless she removed her headscarf will now be able to take her courses after a decision by the local Education Ministry.

Last week the 22-year-old made headlines across Spain after she was told she could not attend her courses at the Institute of Secondary Education (IES) Benlliure in Valencia if she wore her hijab (headscarf worn by some Muslim women).

The school justified its decision by citing an internal rule which prohibits students from covering their heads while attending classes unless it is for hygiene reasons.

But on Monday the regional Education Ministry announced that it would “guarantee the student's right to an education and she will be able to attend all of her classes at the centre, wearing the hijab”, according to Europa Press.

“The ultimate goal is to guarantee the educational rights of the student body and it is important to use all types of tools in order to foster coexistence and cultural diversity at Valencian educational centres.”

The ministry went on to add that it had created the role of an equality and coexistence coordinator at each educational facility in Valencia for this academic year.

The ministry also plans to pass a reform to more clearly state the rights of students and what they wear.

The student, identified by Europa Press as Takwa Rejeb, said that she was very content with the ministry's decision.

“I am very happy that this does not have to remain an issue and that we are seeing changes,” she said.

“This is a century of change.”

She added that “the most important thing is to guarantee the rights of all, and that all have the right to study,” adding that her decision to wear the hijab “was not hurting anyone”.

“[Change] begins little by little with each of us adding our little grain of sand.”

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