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Malaysia court upholds expulsion of students for wearing turbans

[JURIST] Malaysia's second-highest court has upheld a teacher's decision to expel three Muslim boys for wearing turbans to school. The ruling overturns an earlier ruling that any school's ban on turbans violated the right to freedom of religion. The Court of Appeal judge Gopal Sri Ram held courts have no place getting involved in disputes between students and school principals. The Malaysian government does not allow overt religious symbols in its schools in an effort to prevent friction among the country's different religious groups and to discourage the spread of conservative Islam. Exceptions are made as Sikh students may wear turbans and Muslim girls may wear a headscarf. The opposition Islamic party, Pas, denounced the decision, saying the government would not be practicing religious tolerance if it supports the students' expulsion and likened the ban to the French headscarf ban. The turban worn by the boys is not part of local Muslim costume but is typically worn by those who have studied religious schools abroad and those who support Pas. BBC has more.

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