By Dr. Khaled M. Batrafi, Special to Arab News
Sunday 26 January 2003
Last Update 26 January 2003 12:00 am
JEDDAH, 26 January 2003 — An international school in Jeddah, which has boys and girls of varying nationalities on its rolls, has banned an Egyptian Muslim girl for wearing a head scarf. The girl, Lujain, was banned from Jeddah Prep and Grammar School and was forced to look for another in order to continue her studies.
She said that other girls wearing head scarves are forced to remove them every morning before entering the school.
Tarek Mohammed Muneer, Lujain’s father, said he was surprised when the director of the school denied his daughter entry to the school last Ramadan.
“When I asked him the reason, he told me that the school is not religious and that the head scarf is a religious symbol,” the father said.
“When I argued that this is unacceptable in an Arab and Muslim country, especially if there are a large number of Muslim girls in the school, he said he would refer the matter to the school board for a final ruling.”
The matter, however, remains unresolved till present.
When contacted, the school administrative secretary said the school policy is a total ban on head scarves. She added, “Any girl wearing a head scarf will not be allowed to enter the school.”
Muneer, the father, said he managed to get admission for Lujain at Jeddah Continental School, which does not impose any ban on head scarf.