2019 debate on hijabs in schools

Submitted by Zac Muddle on 21 October, 2019 - 6:04
Photo of a girl wearing a hijab in primary school, alongside classmates

Photo: CC BY 2.0 DFID

In the AWL in the run up to our 2019 conference, we are having a debate on the hijab in schools, after one member brought a motion on it. Please see the editorial note below, and below that, the articles that have been written in Solidarity to date on this. We have internal discussion documents on it, but most of the debate we have had publicly. Third on this page is the policy we passed in 2004, and fourth is some articles from the debate at the time.

Editorial note

Our existing policy decided in relation to the French ban on the hijab/veil in schools is printed at the bottom of this page. It opposes that ban. Indeed our existing policy is not to support bans on the hijab in any context.

The current debate is not a debate about policies for the whole of society, or for adult society, but about schools. Therefore comments about what women chose to wear, or not wear, are external to this discussion. As are comments about general bans.

Articles to date

Click the links below, listed in date order, to see the articles

Policy passed in 2004

1. We oppose the hijab as a social mechanism of female subordination, and we oppose pressure on girls wear the hijab. Our priority is to help and support secularists and leftists in the mainly-Muslim communities who fight that pressure.
2. We are for universal secular education. We should seek to launch a counter-campaign in Britain against faith schools, the intrusion of religion in ordinary state schools, and the toleration, in the name of multi-culturalism, of Muslim girls being excluded by parental pressure from parts of education.
3. We do not support the new French law [banning the hijab in schools]. It will probably be counter-productive. It fails to allow the necessary space for dealing sensitively and respectfully with teenagers’ desires to experiment in dealing with the world around them.

Debate in 2004

The links below are in date order. Click on them to see the articles (they are likely not comprehensive - if you find other articles, let us know):

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.