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Anton Rauscher

Headscarf Conflict

 

From: Kirche in der Welt, volume 4, P. 246-260, Würzburg 2006
webmaster's own, not authorized translation

    Published as number 309 of the series "Kirche und Gesellschaft" (edited by the Katholischen Sozialwissenschaftlichen Zentralstelle Mönchengladbach), Cologne 2004.

 

The large resonance triggered by the so-called headscarf decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 24 September 2003 suggests that developments took place which put the relationship of church and state in the Federal Republic of Germany resp. the fundamental right of freedom of religion and the ideological-religious neutral state on the test bench again. Already the "Crucifix Decision" of the Federal Constitutional Court in the year 1995 affected the broad public, and caused shakings of the head and massive protests particularly in Lands with a large part of Catholics in the population. According to it the negative freedom of religion of a pupil whose parents did not want to admit that their child had to learn "under the cross", was higher classified than the positive freedom of religion of possibly all other children and their parents who do not take offence at the cross, and adhere to the Christian education in public schools {1}. Now it was about the question whether the headscarf offends against the ideological neutrality of the state, which - because of the obligatory character of the public school for all children - is of special importance in a pluralistic society.

 

The Way Through All Instances

Since 1982 Mrs. Fereshda Ludin, born in 1972 in Kabul/Afghanistan, has incessantly been living in the Federal Republic of Germany and was in 1995 naturalized. In Stuttgart she studied pedagogy and wanted to become schoolmistress. After she had passed the first State examination, she passed in 1998 the second State examination for the teacher profession at primary- and 9-year elementary school, with the training subjects German, English and social studies / economics.

The application for an engagement in the Education of the Land Baden-Würtemberg was - because of lacking personal suitability - rejected by the upper supervisory school authority Stuttgart

 


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on the grounds that Mrs. Ludin was not willing to do without wearing a headscarf during the lessons. The headscarf is the expression of a cultural demarcation, and thus not only a religious but also a political symbol. The effect of cultural disintegration connected with the headscarf is incompatible with the necessity of neutrality of the state. Against this answer Mrs. Ludin lodged contradiction. Wearing the headscarf was expression of her religious conviction, and the refusal of her application violated the fundamental right to freedom of religion, according to article 4 paragraph 1 and 2 GG (Basic Law). She also pointed out that the headscarf - unlike the crucifix - was not a faith symbol. The upper supervisory school authority rejected the contradiction. Even if Mrs. Ludin did not convert to her own belief, the headscarf expressed nevertheless her affiliation to Islam. The pupils could not free themselves from that. Just for schoolgirls of Muslim faith a substantial adjustment pressure could arise from it contradicting the educational task of the school to work for the integration of Muslim schoolboys and -girls.

Thereupon Mrs. Ludin decided to enter an action. The Administrative Court Stuttgart, the Administrative Court Baden-Württemberg as court of appeal, and the Federal Administrative Court rejected the respective complaint. The argumentation of the appeal instance makes clear: from the comprehensively ensured freedom of religion follows - according to article 4 paragraph 1 GG - the necessity of neutrality of the state in relation to the different religions and confessions. This applies in particular to the lebensraum of the confession-free compulsory school organized and arranged by the state. With an increasing cultural and religious variety the necessity of neutrality wins - with a growing part of irreligious pupils - increasingly in importance, and it was not to be relaxed with regard to the fact that the cultural, ethnical and religious variety in Germany meanwhile also shapes the life at school. Neither the necessity of tolerance nor the principle of practical concordance would oblige to restrain the parents' right and the religious freedom of pupils and parents within a public school in favour of a schoolmistress wearing a headscarf.

 

The Decision of the Federal Constitutional Court

The Federal Constitutional Court, where Mrs. Ludin lodged a constitutional complaint, came to a different conclusion: The decisions of the first instances violate the complainant in her fundamental rights {2}.

 


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The decision of the Federal Administrative Court is quashed, and the case is referred back to the appeal instance. The prohibition to wear a headscarf represents - according to article 4 BL - a serious interference into the individual fundamental right to freedom of religion. Also the religiously motivated wearing of a headscarf is covered by the basic-legally guaranteed religious freedom, even if the wearer is an official in the education system. But the regional legislator is at liberty to create a regulation which can, if necessary, include also a restriction of the religious freedom - up to "headscarf prohibition" - (paragraph 62f.). The decision of the second senate passed with 5 to 3 votes.

Two guiding principles are placed in front of the decision. 1. A headscarf prohibition for lady teachers requires a "sufficiently defined legal basis". 2. "The social change which is given by an increasing religious plurality can be an occasion for the legislator to regulate anew the admissible extent of religious references at school".

With the question that had to be decided by the Second Senate, there had to be weighed the individual freedom of religion of the complainant according to article 4 BL, the fundamental rights of other persons, in particular the parental right to education according to article 6 paragraph 2 GG, and the necessity of state neutrality in questions of religion and world view, in connection with the governmental educational task according to article 7 paragraph 1 GG.

The majority of the senate saw Fereshda Ludin as bearer of fundamental rights, and granted priority to her individual freedom, because the reason given by her - that the headscarf was for her a compulsory religious obligation - was "plausible" (paragraph 40:53) and from wearing a headscarf during an instruction no "lack of aptitude" of the instructress could be derived that could justify a prohibition (paragraph 58:59). The headscarf would also not prevent Mrs. Ludin from supporting the free democratic fundamental order. As far as the state was concerned, it had admittedly to pay attention to the fact that the treatment of the different religious and ideological communities was oriented towards the principle of equality. But the religious-ideological neutrality required from the state was not "detaching", in the sense of a "strict separation of state and church", but stood up - in the sense of "openness" and of a "promoting attitude" - for the religious freedom of all confessions (paragraph 43:44).

 


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This attitude was based on a conception of man that is shaped by the dignity of man and the free development of the personality in self-determination and responsibility (paragraph 42). As far as the educational right of the parents and the educational task of the state, which is in charge of the entire public education, is concerned, article 6 paragraph 2 of the Basic Law held that parents had not the exclusive right to education; the educational task of the state was "independent and in its sphere of equal rank" (paragraph 45). Finally, the negative freedom of religion of pupils (and parents) went not so far, that one was to be spared "from different faith convictions, rites, and religious symbols" (paragraph 46).

In contrast to this the vote of the minority of the senate came in central points to a different evaluation of the facts. The majority of the senate were wrong in weighing the fundamental right in favour of the individual religious freedom. It was basically not about the weighing of equivalent legal goods but about a "functional definition of the protection of officials by the Basic Law", and in the given case about the limitation "of access to a public office" (paragraph 76). "The by the complainant required uncompromising wearing of the headscarf during the lessons was irreconcilable with the necessity of moderation and neutrality for officials" (paragraph 102). Those who saw ladyteachers primarily as bearers of fundamental rights, and directed so their legal claims against pupils and parents, shortened the liberty of those for whom the legal reservation had been extended in the school law.

 

Critical Considerations on the Decision

In a first reaction many daily and weekly papers emphasized that the judges shrank back from deciding the controversy. They had handed back the questions of headscarf prohibition to the regional parliaments. It remained open whether the plaintiff's fundamental right to freedom of worship had priority or the necessity of religio-ideological neutrality of the state. In contrast to this the vote of the minority were stringent in itself, because it assumed that Mrs. Ludin's case was not at all a case of weighing equal legal goods, but simply about the question, whether the headscarf prohibition belonged to those functional limitations to which a civil servant is subject who is active on behalf of the public and on responsibility of the state.

 


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The questions about the meaning and the interpretation of the headscarf are more gnawing. The plaintiff emphasized time and again that the bearing of the headscarf showed the affiliation to the Islamic religious community and her personal identification as Muslima. The majority of the senate regarded Mrs. Ludin's statement that Muslimas were to wear a headscarf in the public as "sufficiently plausible", for it was a rule based on Islam and had therefore to be related to the protection area of article 4 paragraph 1 and 2 GG.

The use of the term "plausibly" seems peculiar in this connection. Crucial is here the answer to the question whether the headscarf is unmistakably a religious Islamic symbol or an ambiguous sign. Already the fact that Muslimas in Germany and in other European countries most differently practise the wearing of the headscarf is thought-provoking. A considerable, probably the larger part of the Muslimas who immigrated wear no headscarf in public. But even in Islamic countries the behaviour of women is by no means uniform. In the Arab states around the Persian Gulf not only the wearing of the headscarf but the veiling of the body is the rule. In Iraq and Iran the practices are different. In Iraq during the past dictatorship many women followed rather the example of Turkey, and women with and without headscarf were seen in the public, whereas the situation in Iran changed since the Islamic revolution. The majority of women wear the headscarf or are veiled. Here the headscarf signals Islam.

As far as Turkey is concerned, particularly in the rural areas of Anatolia the headscarf belongs to the attire of women; in Germany too it's not such a long time since in the country girls and women wore a headscarf and on Sunday the regional costume. In the large cities of Turkey and in tourist centres the "western" dress of women was made the standard by the lay ideology which Kamal Atatürk, the founder of the state enforced. The headscarf as a sign of Islamic creed was banned from all state institutions, from the authorities, courts, universities and schools. But there is an enormous pressure in the Turkish steam boiler. Now as ever the powerful military apparatus is the guarantor of the lay state.

If one regards the practices in different countries, the headscarf is in general not an obligatory religious symbol, and the wearing of the headscarf no religious obligation. This was not considered by the majority of the senate - even when Mrs. Ludin gave herself the air of being convinced of it. True, there are orthodox or Islamic interpretations of the Koran of this kind;

 


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but the Koran has not any regulations from which a general obligation could be substantiated that women are to wear headscarf and veil {3}. In this connection a decision of the highest Court of Justice of Egypt in the year 1996 is of interest. It rejected the demand, raised from Islamic side, that in state educational establishments the headscarf had to be prescribed for girls.

Certainly, there was and is an increasing number of young women who deliberately wear the headscarf - also among students. By this is expressed that they want, similarly as Christians with the cross or Jews with the Kippa want to profess openly their religion. The headscarf can be a means to lead a self-determined life without breaking with one's culture of origin.

 

Equal Rights for Men and Women

The headscarf judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court provoked a broad public discussion about the status of women in Islamic countries. The information which we get indicate that equal rights of men and women, as they developed in the European tradition, are out of the question. In the Islamic religion and culture women are subordinated to men, and they are only in a limited way able to participate independently in public life, in the world of work and occupation, of school and education, in leisure activities and in sports. The woman's field of activity is limited to house and family. Without the agreement of her husband she is not allowed to leave the house, to visit friends or alone to go on a journey. Men are in every respect privileged socially, legally and culturally. In marriage and family too the man has often the final say. There is no equality before the law, also not in the criminal law. Islam adheres up to this day to polygamy, which affected structurally the living together in marriage and family.

Here is one of the crucial differences to Christianity. Jesus Christ announced and urged monogamy as divine commandment. From the outset the church religiously as well as legally advocated for the monogamous marriage. It is certainly the foundation-stone of the more and more unfolding equal rights of men and women. When Johannes Kandel in his critical appreciation of the headscarf judgement holds the opinion that the equal rights of women and men in article 3 GG

 


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are "a triumph of Enlightenment and the result of the persistent fight of the liberal and social-democratic women's movement" {4}, then he fails to notice that the substance of these equal rights originates in the Christian view: the marriage is constituted by the free consent and bond of both partners.

Unfortunately in many European countries the awareness for the value and importance of marriage is suffering from consumption. Many Muslims are deterred by the way in which the mass media represent the relationship between man and woman, and how in advertising and in many magazines women are degraded to objects of lust.

On the other hand Islam and Islamic societies remained up to this day unaware of the fact that women have just the same inviolable dignity, the same fundamental rights and obligations as men. Also in the European countries, into which many Muslims immigrated during the last decades, the difficulties increased within many areas where men and women, boys and girls meet. This applies for instance to questions of the organization of school, and especially of school sport, or Muslim demands for the treatment of their wives in hospitals.

The president of the Constitutional Court and of the Regional Court of Appeal of Nordrhein-Westfalen in Münster put it in a nutshell, "The image of women conveyed by the headscarf is in flagrant contradiction to elementary basic values of our Constitution. The Islamic conception of women's subordinate rank in relation to the social rank of men is not only incompatible with the rule of equality (article 3 paragraph 2 GG), but above all incompatible with the human dignity guaranteed in article 1 paragraph 1 GG" {5}. Since the Islamic headscarf is seen rather as a sign of the inferior status of women in marriage and in public, the question arises whether a schoolmistress with headscarf is able to impart the values of the Basic Law, and to answer for them in the necessary way. In addition to this the headscarf seems to favour a demarcation of civilisation between Muslims and non-Muslims, and to promote reservations against the Western democratic system.

 


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Since some time one can notice an increasing self-confidence among Muslims who immigrated into Germany or other European countries. The first immigrants were above all interested in work and opportunities for money-making but rather reserved toward a social and cultural integration into the German society, whereas the following generations are rather open and show their affiliation to the Islamic religion and culture.

It is the emerging political Islamism that makes the conflict about the headscarf so explosive. Critical observers fear that the headscarf decision will encourage orthodox-conservative and above all Islamist groups offensively to use the headscarf as religious-political symbol of their power to interpret the Koran and the Sunna; i.e. to state that the headscarf was a visible sign of religious and cultural difference - and that they as Muslim top organisations are the custodians of it. In the name of religious freedom they demand the acceptance of their interpretation of the headscarf, although there are also alternative interpretations and practices among Muslims.

But what does characterize the political Islamism - one speaks also of Islamic fundamentalism? Bassam Tibi, one of the best authorities on Islam, assumes that from 17 million Muslims living in Europe only three to five per cent are Islamists or fundamentalists {6}. From the 3,7 million Muslims who are living in Germany only 100.000 are organized Islamists. This number might be rated higher if one includes those Muslims who are prone to the thinking and behaviours of Islamism. But there is another fact that is of great weight. The Islamists succeeded to a large extent in controlling the Islam centres and the Koran schools. They appear in public as the speakers of Islam, and no differing or even objecting voices are audible.

According to Bassam Tibi the principle of "Hidschra" is substantial for the understanding of Islam. Literally translated it means immigration. Muslims who immigrate into the world outside of Islam are obligated to spread Islam. As long as they form a minority Muslim immigrants will accept this status, but only temporary.

 


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As soon as they have achieved the majority, they will try to make their ideas of order obligatory for everybody. Islam is admittedly religion, belief and ethics, but the organization and order of all living conditions is inseparably connected with it. According to the Christian view the natural and supernatural spheres, God and world, creation and salvation, church and State are in each case different realities and that's why also the relative autonomy of the social life is of crucial importance, whereas in Islam this is different: Religion and politics form a unity.

In Islamism Islam becomes a political religion. Looking at the conditions in Turkey Bassam Tibi formulates the thesis, "The Islamists play democracy but their final aim is the Islamic Sharia state. I interpret it as non-democratic, but all Islamists aspire to it". This is also the reason why in Islamic states neither religious freedom, nor ideological-religious pluralism or ideological neutrality exists.

Bassam Tibi likewise points to the fact that one surely must not equate Islamism with Jihadism (Jihad = holy war) or terrorism. But there is no getting away from the question about the connecting lines between Islam and Islamism. All the more the question becomes acute why in many Islamic countries the readiness for violence "against the West" could develop, up to the brutal forms of modern terrorism.

 

Defensive Attitude

These procedures and events led to the fact that in the perception of many citizens the headscarf is increasingly seen as political symbol. There is no getting away from the worry that Islamism, which got already hold of the Koran schools, wants to win also influence on the pupils in public schools - through Islamic teachers wearing the headscarf during the lessons. Do teachers wearing the headscarf still sufficiently guarantee that the pupils are informed and educated in conformity with the fundamental values of the Basic Law? Does a teacher who wears the headscarf convincingly stand up for the fundamental rights of man, for the constitutional state, for the democratic order and for the equal rights of man and woman - particularly since quite different experiences are effective in many Muslim pupils by the background of their families? How is it about the basic value of religious freedom, to which Muslimas in Germany can refer, but which is mostly suppressed in their Muslim countries of origin - at any rate for non-Muslims?

 


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And what is the Muslims' view on the ideological-religious neutrality of the state, which is to care for peace and successful co-operation in schools? Surely, teachers without headscarf are for that reason alone not yet guarantors of tolerance. On the other hand Islamism and the acts of terror done world-wide by Al Quaide give the headscarf debate its weight.

Some Lands of the Federal Republic, such as Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria presented already bills to the headscarf prohibition during lessons. Annette Schavan, the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Land Baden-Württemberg, stated {7}: If the headscarf was only a religious symbol, then neither in Germany nor in other European countries such a violent debate would probably take place about the question whether a schoolmistress is allowed to wear a headscarf at school. Our Muslim fellow citizens were it who point out to us that the headscarf stands also for a certain interpretation of Islam, that it is connected with a political message, and that in Islam it is increasingly rated as sign of cultural demarcation. The controversy does primarily not run between Muslims and non-Muslims but between different groups within Islam. There are Muslims who stand for an opening of Islam and warn of the support for a political Islamism, others remind of the fact that many Muslimas throughout the world are forced under penalty to wear the headscarf, and that it is to be seen as part of a history of suppression of women.

 

The Situation in France

In the middle of the discussion about the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court we got the news that also France plans the headscarf prohibition. There it is not only about lady teachers who are teaching with headscarf but also about pupils who do not want to take off the headscarf at school. So far it was left to the school administrations how to deal with it. In a much considered speech President Jacques Chirac announced on 17 December 2003 an appropriate law {8}.

 


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This step becomes only understandable if one recalls the social and political development in France. Only General de Gaulle ended the problematic inheritance of the colonial epoch of France and released Algeria, which had been incorporated into the motherland, into independence. At any rate, the immigration of Muslims from North Africa increased. Since the eighties Islam is the second largest religion in France. It numbers about five million faithful; half of them are French citizens.

In the Muslim community the fundamentalist tendencies increased; its integration into the French society is less and less successful. In the nineties a special form of gang criminality developed in the outskirts of large cities. At the same time the number of Muslim women and girls increased who are wearing the headscarf in the public - also as sign against the Western life-style. As counter-move the number of the radical right under Le Pen was growing.

The government was increasingly anxious about the social coherence and the political stability of the country. By establishing the Islamic Council Paris tried to promote a French Islam in order to make the integration of the Muslims easier. But in the election of the committee the radical groupings won through. In 2003 a special commission was established under Bernard Stasi. Its task was to develop suggestions for the acceptance of the principle of the lay state, and to prevent a possible instability of the Republic by religious extremism. But the whole integration debate was reduced to the controversy about the headscarf. Above all "ostentatious religious signs", like oversized crosses, Kippa and headscarf are to be prohibited. Moderate Muslims feel its prohibition as discrimination - the fanatics run storm and declare the War of Cultures to the republic. In contrast to the constitutional position of church and state in Germany the principle of the lay state, which got only in 1958 constitutional rank in France, insists on the fact that religion belongs to the private sphere and has no business in public life. Also Chirac's noticeable efforts in his speech to reconcile the principle of the lay state with the fundamental right to freedom of religion, as it is acknowledged since the Second World War, will nothing change about it. The headscarf prohibition will not silence the reflection on freedom of religion and on the relationship of religion and society that began in political and intellectual circles.

 


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How Far Does the Ideological-religious Neutrality of the State Go?

In the centre of the headscarf controversy is the tension between the fundamental right to freedom of religion and the necessity of religious and ideological neutrality of the state in a pluralistic society. The Federal Constitutional Court points to the "inevitable relationship of tension" that exists between the positive (or negative) religious freedom of a teacher on the one hand and the governmental obligation to ideological-religious neutrality, the educational right of parents as well as the negative (or positive) religious freedom of the pupils on the other hand.

The regional legislator had to solve this relationship of tension by taking the precept of tolerance into account. Thereby he had to strive for an understanding of religious-ideological neutrality of the state that "is open to, embraces and equally promotes the religious freedom of all confessions".

This included "that the individual Lands can reach different regulations, because - with the middle course that is to be found - also school traditions, the confessional structure of the population and its more or less strong religious roots may be considered" (paragraph 47).

When the Federal Constitutional Court treats freedom of religion in this way, the protests of the population against the crucifix verdict might have been effective. But how are the Lands to proceed now? Is there actually - as the senate formulated it - a "deliberation balance" between the rule of equal access for everybody, i.e. also for Muslims to public offices and the parents' right to protection of the own religious tradition that in many Lands is still coined by a Christian majority? {9}

It does not surprise that from the verdict of the Federal Constitutional Court different, yes, opposite conclusions are drawn. This became immediately apparent when in Baden-Würtemberg and in Bavaria the bills on the headscarf prohibition were made known.

 


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Teachers are to be prohibited to deliver political, religious and ideological statements by which the school peace could be disturbed. "The representation of Christian and Western educational and cultural values or traditions" corresponding to the educational task of the national constitution, are not to affected by this law. Bavaria too wants a clear prohibition of symbols which are directed against the value order of the Basic Law and of the Bavarian Constitution.

There was a tremendous outcry in the mass media, particularly on the part of those forces which the existing relationship between state and church in Germany already for a long time has been annoying. Without really dealing with the reasons the "protest" was fixed to certain formulas: "The headscarf is forbidden at schools but not the habit ... All religions are equal but the Jewish-Christian is more equal" (Heribert Prantl in: Süddeutsche Zeitung); "Muslims have fewer rights than Christians" (Frank Drieschner in: Die Zeit); "Preference for cowls" (Jörg Schallenberg in: taz). By noting a different treatment of religious symbols and by deriving from it an unequal treatment of religions, which is not covered by the Basic Law, one wants to shift the German national church law either toward the French lay model or to the Turkish secularism.

The statement of the Federal President Johannes Rau on occasion of the end of the year 2003, "If the headscarf is considered as a profession of faith, as missionary cloth, then exactly the same must apply to cowl and crucifix", poured oil on the fire. It met decided contradiction. Cardinal Ratzinger declared during the New Year's Eve service in the Regensburg cathedral, "I would not forbid the headscarf to any Muslim woman, but we allow even less that one forbids us the cross as public symbol of a culture of reconciliation". Also the President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse declared, "The cross is not a symbol of suppression, but the headscarf is it for many Muslim women".

 

The Religious Foundation of Culture

In his declaration of principle about "Freedom of Religion Today - about the Relationship of State and Religion in Germany" on 22 January 2004 Federal President Rau was able to clarify the misunderstandings caused by his speech,. "State and church in Germany are clearly separated, but they cooperate on many fields in the interest of the whole society. I regard this, all in all, as the correct way, and I do not see any reason that we join the lay model of our French neighbours and friends...

 


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Every church and each religious community meets the borderline exclusively in the inalienable human rights guaranteed by the Basic Law. They too apply - like the freedom of religion - to all human beings, whether they are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists or members of other religious convictions, of course, also to people who are unbelievers ... Our State is neither hostile to religions nor free of religion. On the contrary: Our state protects everybody's freedom of religion" {10}.

From different parties doubts have meanwhile raised whether the headscarf prohibition is the suitable way to restrain the militant Islamism. Such a measure affects also those Muslims who see the headscarf primarily as a religious symbol and who do not question the basic values of the Basic Law. The doubts voiced by members of the French and German Bishops' Conference go into this direction.

Just as weighty are the fears that the headscarf could - with reference to the rule of equal treatment of religions - serve to bane all religious symbols and signs from the public schools and institutions. The president of the Central Committee of the German Catholics, Hans Joachim Meyer, warned "of applause from the wrong friends", who demand the headscarf prohibition but want to replace the "partnership relation of state and church by a lay culture" {11}. Also Federal President Rau fears "the first steps on the way to a lay state ... I do not want this. It is not my conception of our country, which has for many centuries been moulded by Christianity". {12}

But what does the formulation "moulded by Christianity" mean? Does it mean the "Christian culture"? Sometimes one takes the view that one could, as it were, cancel the religious convictions and attitudes of human beings and the "secular culture" would remain, so that on the whole the historically grown ethnical, mental-moral, economic, social and political living conditions of a people would not be changed {13}. This is a tremendous mistake.

 


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As little as the inviolable dignity of man and the fundamental rights and obligations could be explained and would last without their anchorage in the conception of man going with them, just as little religion, faith and church can be solved from the inner connection with this conception of man. Without the Christian conception of man as "image of God" there would be no convincing reason for them. "Moulded by Christianity" obviously refers to this Christian conception of man that was reflected in the thinking and behaviours of man, in sacred rites and customs, in many outward manifestations, such as churches and way crosses, even if many citizens are no longer aware of their Christian origin.

If in Germany Christians live together with Jews, Muslims, members of other religions and also with atheists, does then the country moulded by Christianity disappear? By no means, it is the Christian conception of man that acknowledges in all human beings - independent of their religious and ideological convictions - the inviolable dignity and the fundamental rights and obligations that are given to them by their Creator {14}. Christians should not hide their conception of man under a bushel and be silent; on the contrary, what matters is that this view is imparted also to people of different faith, to Jews, Muslims and Hindus and also to atheists. To this conception of man belongs also freedom of religion. If this conception of man would be more and more accepted, much would be won for mutual understanding and peace in the world.

 

Notes

{1} See Schule ohne Kreuz? With contributions by Peter Lerche, Hans Maier, Anton Rauscher, Walter Ziegler. Special number of the series "Kirche und Gesellschaft", edited by the Katholische Sozialwissenschaftliche Zentralstelle Mönchengladbach, Köln 1995.

{2} BverfG, 2BVR 1436/02. - See to this: Johannes Kandel, "Nur ein Kopftuch?" Kritische Anmerkungen zum Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, in: Die Neue Gesellschaft, Frankfurter Hefte, 1 + 2/2004, p. 71-75.

{3} Ch. W. Troll, Nach dem Kopftuchurteil, in: Stimmen der Zeit, 2004/1, p.3.

{4} L.c., p. 73.

{5} Michael Bertrams, Das Kopftuch: Im Widerspruch zum Grundgesetz, in: FAZ of 1 October 2003 (No. 228), p. 12.

{6} See here and in the following Bassam Tibi, Für eine Demokratisierung des Islam, in: tachles. Das jüdische Wochenmagazin, 9 January 2004 (volume 4), edition 2, p. 1-6.

{7} Annette Schavan, Es ist ein politisches Symbol. Warum Lehrerinnen an staatlichen Schulen das Tragen eines Kopftuchs verboten werden muß, in: Die Welt, 11 November 2003, p. 9.

{8} Jacques Chirac, Rede zur Einhaltung des Grundsatzes der Laizität. Frankreich-Info, edited: French Embassy, 19.12.2003. - See also Norbert Wagner, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Länderberichte, 19 January 2004, Foreign Bureau Paris/Frankreich, p. 1-23. - Heike Schmoll, Im Sinne des Laizismus. Das Kopftuchverbot in Frankreich als Versuch, fünf Millionen Muslime zu integrieren, in: FAZ, 20 December 2003.

{9} See Otto Kallscheuer, Sind religiöse Symbole aggressiv? Der Streit um Kreuz, Kopftuch und Kippa muß geführt werden. In ihm wird das Selbstverständnis der weltlichen Republik verhandelt, in: FAZ Sonntagszeitung, 4 January 2004.

{10} Printed in: KNA. Dokumente. 2 February 2004, p. 25.

{11} See the report: "Kopftuchstreit keine Bagatelle", in: FAZ, 22 November 2003.

{12} L.c. (note 10), p. 27. - See also Mark Siemons, Die Falle des Laizismus. Weshalb die Öffentlichkeit religiöser Symbole demokratisch ist, in: FAZ, 17 March 2004 (No. 65), p. 35.

{13} See the essay by Martin Heckel, Die Ausstrahlungswirkung der Relgionsfreiheit auf das Kulturverfassungsrecht des säkularen Staates, in: Die Bedeutung der Religion für die Gesellschaft. Erfahrungen und Probleme in Deutschland und den USA, edited by Anton Rauscher (Soziale Orientierung, volume 17), p. 141-173.

{14} It are the "transpositive roots" of the universal conception of man: see Lothar Roos, Der neue Streit um den Menschen, in: series "Kirche und Gesellschaft", edited by the Katholische Sozialwissenschaftlichen Zentralstelle Mönchengladbach, Köln 2003, p. 11f.