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Ludin’s Case
The headscarf debate is triggered by a six-year legal battle fought by a Muslim school teacher, Fereshta Ludin, for the right to wear a headscarf while teaching in public school system.
           Ludin was born in Afghanistan but has lived in Germany continuously since 1987 and became a German citizen in 1995. In 1997, as Ludin neared completion of her pedagogical studies in Stuttgart, the Stuttgart School Supervisory Authority (SSA) turned down her application for position as a teacher. The Land Minister of Education, Annette Schavan, a Christian Democrat, intervened on Ludin’s behalf in this instance to let Ludin finish her studies. In 1998, upon completion of the studies, the Stuttgart SSA denied her application to teach in the state school system because of her “lack of personal qualifications.” On July 15, 1998, the parliament of aden-Wurttemberg, the land encompassing Stuttgart, decided not to legislate the wearing of headscarf in public schools.
         Shortly after, Ludin appealed her denial of application to teach in public school system, which started her six year battle with the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.
         Ludin’s case failed: she would not be eligible to teach in the public schools so long as she insists to wear a headscarf while teaching.
          August 14, 1998, Ludin made an internal appeal of the initial administrative denial of her application for employment to the SSA. She argued that the wearing of a headscarf is not only part of her personality; it is also a conviction of her religious belief and part of her identity. German basic law prohibited denying an employment application because of religious affiliation. But SSA felled Ludin’s case based on idea that “the religious freedom of the complaint is limited by the fundamental right of the students to negative religious freedom, the parent’s right of upbringing from paragraph  of article 6, as well as by the state’s obligation to religious and worldview neutrality.”
         On March 24, 2000, Ludin appealed this SSA decision to the Stuttgart Administrative Court, but was rejected because that “ wearing a headscarf for religious reasons by a teacher constituted a lack of qualification in the sense of section 11, paragraph 1 of the Baden-Wurttemberg’s Law on State Civil Servants”.
         Next, Ludin appealed this rejection of fher complaint to the Baden-Wurttemberg Court of Administrative Appeals, the Land administrative appellate court. They upheld the Stuttgart Administrative Court’s denial of Ludin’s complaint on June 26, 2001, because the court of administrative pointed out that an appellate court has limited powers of review in an administrative decision of whether an applicant is qualified to for a job or not. Also they pointed out that “wearing a headscarf while teaching could influence the students religiously and could lead to conflicts within the affected classrooms.” It is a religious symbol which students in the classrooms could not avoid.
            Ludin then appealed this decision of the Land Court of Administrative Appeals to the Federal Administrative Court in Berlin. They rejected Ludin’s complaint, explaining that “limitations of an individual’s religious freedom arise from the Basic Law itself, particularly from colliding fundamental rights of those who believe differently” which is guaranteed by the Basic Law in the name of the state’s mandated religious neutrality.
           In response, Ludin then entered a complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court alleging that the SSA prohibiting her from wearing a headscarf violated her fundamental rights under the Basic Law. The Court ruled that she was wrongly denied by the SSA. The basic law guaranteed her religious freedom. But states could modify their law to ban the wearing of headscarf in public schools.