Kosovar Students Defy Headscarf Ban

Click Here: AP – Kosovar Students Defy Headscarf Ban

SRBICA, Serbia (AP) — Three students were suspended from school in Kosovo this week for wearing Muslim headscarves, reflecting a debate that is echoing across Europe and complicating the province’s quest for independence.

The argument over whether secular society should trump religious rights is similar to those taking place in France, Turkey, Britain and elsewhere. But some in the breakaway Serb province fear its bid for statehood could suffer if Kosovo is perceived as overly Islamic.”Not only does religion damage the quest for independence, it damages our entire concept,” said Rexhep Ismajli, the head of Kosovo’s Academy of Science, a body that includes the province’s leading thinkers. “It damages Kosovo’s society, it damages our vision.”

Fatmire Jashari, 18, was suspended from her high school in the central Kosovar town of Srbica — a former stronghold of the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, the guerrilla group that fought Serb forces in the 1998-1999 war.

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