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German Mayor fires Muslim intern for wearing head scarf

A 48-year-old Palestinian refugee, hired as an intern at a German mayor’s office, was fired on the first day of work because she refused to remove her head scarf. Mayor Elisabeth Herzog-von der Heide of the town Luckenwalde, near here, fired the intern, after she did not take off her head scarf, The Local reported.

“The Islamic head scarf is a means of expressing a religious world view,” Herzog-von der Heide was quoted as saying. The mayor said therefore, wearing a head scarf would violate the neutrality of the town hall, where crucifixes are also not allowed.

The Palestinian woman had been hired for a project called ‘Perspectives for Refugees’ and was set to work for six weeks. The woman said that she did not want to remove the head scarf in the presence of men, and therefore Heide said they would not be able to offer her a suitable working environment.

She said it would have been better to clarify this policy before hiring her.

A representative from the state parliament and Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party, Sven Petke, has criticised the Social Democrat (SPD) mayor.
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