A German court ruled against an attempt to forbid a 16-year-old student from wearing a niqab during classes.

Earlier, officials ordered the girl’s mother to ensure that her daughter, who is studying retail sales, did not wear the veil at school and reportedly imposed a €500 fine.

The girl has a “right to unconditional protection of her freedom of religion,” the Hamburg Administrative Court said in a statement.

However, according to the city’s social-democratic education senator Ties Rabe, it is important that children and young people from all cultures and religions can participate in lessons in an equal way: “No matter what culture or religion prescribes, everyone shows their faces openly at school”, he said.

In recent years, wearing veils in public has become a heated topic, with far-right parties calling for banning headscarves and minarets on mosques.

Germany’s political parties are divided. Some of them call for a change in the country’s state laws. The court rejected an appeal by the city against the decision, saying that there is no legal basis for the order against the mother.

Rabe, however, explained that to implement the ban, he would seek to change state law: “That’s why we will now swiftly amend the school law, so that this is also guaranteed in the future”, he said.

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