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Kenya apex court reverses 'right to hijab' in non-Muslim schools

Kenya apex court reverses 'right to hijab' in non-Muslim schools


The Kenyan Supreme Court has quashed an appeal court ruling in 2016 which said Muslim students could wear the hijab to non-Muslim schools.

The top court based its ruling on the fact that the headcovers contravened the school uniform code. The Appeal Court ruling at the time overturned a 2015 verdict by a high court that banned the measure.

St. Paul’s Kiwanjani Secondary, a Methodist Church run school in Isiolo County has been at the heart of the legal challenge.

The school was aggrieved by an earlier sanction by the country’s education directorate saying Muslim students in the school can wear hijab and white trousers, which is against their school rules.

The High Court in May 2015 ruled that the directive allowing the wearing of hijab in the school was illegal and discriminatory.

The Appeal Court in its 2016 ruling ordered the education directorate of the country to ensure the creation of new rules on school uniforms and not to discriminate against students based on religion.

“The education CS should consider formulating and putting into place regulations, after due consultations, for the better protection of the fundamental right to freedom of religion and belief as well as equality and discrimination for all pupils and students in Kenya’s education system,” the sitting judges said.

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