Reacting to increasing attacks targeting veiled Muslim students, the headmaster of an Italian college in north-eastern Italian town Cervignano del Friuli has banned headscarves in classes, seeing them as “provocative”.
“Ostentation and exhibition, especially if imposed, of exterior signs of a religious confession can be taken as provocation and spark reactions of ostracism, disparagement or rejection,” said Duri in a statement published on the college websites, reports Gazzetta del Sud, International Business Times reported on Tuesday, February 17.
“For example, the handkerchief or scarf that covers the hair and sometimes part of the face of Muslim girls. They are free to use it outside school, but not in class.”
Malignini di Cervignano is a technical college that is located in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region has a sizable number of students of Arab origin.
The decision followed several attacks against Muslim students in the college for donning hijab.
An Egyptian Muslim student was hospitalized for seven days of injury because of injuries sustained in an attack by an Italian friend following a row in class.
Announcing the hijab ban, Duri said that the school is secular and any outward sign of any religion would not be tolerated.
He added that anti-Muslim attacks coupled with increasing atrocities committed by ISIL as well as Paris Charlie Hebdo attack.
“Since jihadists from Isis have unleashed, with the brutality of their attacks, a ‘total war’ against the West, Shiites, all kinds of ‘infidels’, including moderate Sunnis, pursuing the crazy idea to restore an Islamic caliphate, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments have spread among our students,” he said.
“Friction and insults that were fairly innocent between the Islamic community and the natives are now loaded with new meaning,” he was quoted by Trieste Prima as saying.
Italy has a Muslim population of some 1.7 million, including 20,000 reverts, according to the figures released by Istat, the national statistics agency.