Czech appeal court: "Non-believers in the Czech Republic must not be exposed to culturally alien religious symbols"
20. 9. 2017
The Municipal Court in Prague has rejected an appeal by a muslim student who was forced to leave a secondary nursing school before graduation because the school banned her from wearing a hijab. The student saw this as discrimination and demanded an apology and financial compensation. Prior to the court proceedings, Anna Šabatová, the Czech Ombudsman, published her own adjudication in this matter, pointing out that the student was indeed the subject of indirect discrimination, which is banned by the Czech constitution. While the Czech Republic is a secular state, Czech law does not allow the banning of religious symbols, pointed out the Czech Ombudsman. The legal representative of the Prague secondary school of nursing told the media that the Ombudsman´s adjudication was "full of lies".
Adjudication of the Czech Ombudsman HERE (in Czech)
Jan Klášterka, the judge presiding in this case at the Municipal Court in Prague did not share the view of the Czech Obmudsman. When explaining why he had rejected the appeal, he explained that "non-believers in the Czech Republic must not be forced to be exposed to the impact of religious symbols, especially when they are historically and culturally alien, when they attend public institutions". He added that wearing a hijab in school was tantamount to wanting to pray "Our Father who art in heaven" during a class of mathematics and that was not permissible.