Philippine school bans Muslim hijab
A Catholic-run school in the southern Philippines has caused controversy by banning Muslim students from wearing the hijab headscarf. Mehol Sadain, who heads the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, said Sunday he had written to Pilar College in the mixed Muslim-Christian port city of Zamboanga to demand it reverse its policy.
While the school was right to claim it could exercise academic freedom, Sadain said it should do so with "justice and fair play".
"Pilar College should realise that while educational institutions can formulate their own policies, the same should not run counter to existing laws and state policies," Sadain said.
The complaint has reached the local city council, which asked the school to reply to the allegations.
The school is believed to be the first in the Philippines to enforce an outright ban on wearing the hijab.
Sadain noted that an education department policy states that Muslim girls should be allowed to wear their head coverings in school and be exempted from non-Muslim religious rites. (...)