A university in the southern German city of Munich has apologized to two female Muslim students for discriminatory practices during online exams after the incidents sparked widespread criticism on social media.
HM Hochschule Munchen said on Twitter that “it offered sincere apologies” to the students who were asked by instructors to remove their headscarves during online exams to rule out any suspicion of fraud.
“Religious headdresses cannot be compared to ordinary fashion accessories, and they have to be handled differently,” the university’s management said, and promised that it would change the instructions to the examination supervisors to ensure respect for religious freedom.
One of the students, who faced the discriminatory practice, thanked social media users for their support via her Instagram account “_kb.ra”, but also criticized the management for their late response to the incident.
She underlined that Muslim students will continue their efforts until the university’s management ensures equal treatment, and puts an end to the discriminatory practices.
“We won’t stop until we get justice,” she said on her Instagram account.
Although Germany’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, Muslims, especially women wearing a headscarf, often face discriminatory practices in education and labor market.
The country witnessed growing racism and Islamophobia in recent years, fueled by propaganda of neo-Nazi groups and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Germany, a country of over 83 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Among the country’s nearly 5.3 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin./aa