Muslima for a Day
A project in Würzburg, Germany initiated by Mrs. Sema Kuzuju, chair of the Christian-Muslim interfaith group “Arbeitsgemeinschaft für christlich-islamische Begegnung und Zusammenarbeit”, Maxstraße 2, 97070 Würzburg, Germany.
The TDJ (Türkisch Deutcher Jornal) article "Islam in Deutschland, (Das muslimische Kopftuch – ein deutsches Thema)" reports, on two grass roots projects started in 2011 addressing the highly contentious proxy debate in Germany over wearing the hijab.
The project in Würzburg, Germany initiated by Mrs. Sema Kuzuju, chair of the Christian-Muslim interfaith group “Arbeitsgemeinschaft für christlich-islamische Begegnung und Zusammenarbeit” aims at generating “empathy” where by non-Muslim women volunteer to spend “one day as a Muslima” and “test-wear the Muslim headscarf, hijab” for one day. The goal of this masquerade is to give non-Muslim women in Germany insights into the daily experience of move in public as a Muslima who has chosen to wear the hijab.
In this article TDJ makes reference to a photo-portrait project, and exhibition by Seren Başoğul "Cover/ Discover – Eine visuelle Annäherung" (English: "Cover/ Discover – A visual Experience"). “The portrait series “Stereotypen” shows women who live in Germany but have various ethnic backgrounds. Each is shown with a different form of headwear.”¹
The crystallization point of the debate was the German Constitutional Court Ruling, BVerfGE 108, 282, dated 24 Sep 2003. The Afghan-German Fereshta Ludin had sued the German state of Baden-Württhemberg, after she had been turned down by the school authority of the city of Stuttgart where she had applied to be a public school teacher. According to the school authority Ms. Ludin was not suitable as a civil servant teacher due to her unwillingness to remove her Muslim headscarf during class. In particular, the wearing of the headscarf, and the “objective” impression of cultural disintegration was not reconcilable with the state neutrality in questions of religious faith. The Constitutional Court ruled, that the plaintiffs equal access to public office according to article 33 paragraph 2 – 3 of the German constitution was violated by the Stuttgart school authority’s decision. This in turn gave rise to a series of new state ordnances prohibiting so-called disturbing of the peace in schools, and breaching of the neutrality of the state (by for example wearing a Muslim headscarf). Some later decision in similar cases however sided with the Constitutional Court’s ‘equal-access’ interpretation of the law (See: Stuttgart Administrative Court 7 Jul 2006 ruling, Case No.: 18 K 3562/05).
¹ "Seren Başoğul " In: Heinrich Böll Stiftung (Heimatkunde, Migrationspolitisches Portal), 18 Sep 2011. [http://heimatkunde.boell.de/2011/09/18/seren-basogul] last viewed 31 Aug 2014.
· Sirin Saoi: "Islam in Deutschland, (Das muslimische Kopftuch – ein deutsches Thema)":. In: TDJ, Deutsch Türkisches Journal online. Published: 31.08.2014 11:52. http://dtj-online.de/islam-in-deutschland-kopftuch-36027 (last viewed 31 Aug 2014).
For further reading:
· RAMSA – Rat muslimischer Studierender & Akademiker: "Cover / Discover, Seren Başoğul. 6. Februar 2012 to 15. Februar 2012". http://www.ramsa-deutschland.org/cover-discover (last viewed 31 Aug 2014).
· Wikipedia: "Fereshta Ludin". http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fereshta_Ludin (last viewed 31 Aug 2014).
· Wikipedia: "Kopftuchurteil". http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopftuchurteil (last viewed 31 Aug 2014).
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