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Vorarlberg FPÖ calls for head-scarf ban
Author:David Rogers

Austria: Vorarlberg Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Dieter Egger today (Mon) called for a ban on head-scarves in all provincial schools and public institutions.

He claimed the federal education ministry’s exemption of Muslim girls from a ban on any kind of head-covering at schools had discriminated against non-Muslims.

Egger said: "Discrimination against our children in favour of Muslims should not be tolerated." He called head scarves signs of a rejection of integration in Austria.

He said: "We are demanding a general ban on head scarves at schools and public institutions."

"Unfortunately, head scarves are being misused under cover of the principle of religious freedom and perceived more and more by our people as a signal for the transformation of Austria into an Islamic country," he added.

A ban on head scarves, he said, was necessary "to avoid conflicts that are on the horizon."

Egger caused controversy during the Vorarlbeg provincial election campaign last September when he refused to apologise for calling Hanno Loewy, the director of the Jewish Museum in Hohenems, "an exile Jew from America."

People’s Party (ÖVP) Governor Herbert Sausgruber refused to form another coalition with the FPÖ after the election following the remarks. The two parties had been in coalition governments since 1974.