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UK top court upholds school ban on Muslim jilbab

[JURIST] The Law Lords [official website], the judicial panel of the UK House of Lords that is Britain's highest court, ruled [text] 5-0 Wednesday in favor of a high school's decision to ban a student from wearing a Muslim jilbab [Wikipedia backgrounder], a long garment that covers the entire body other than the face and hands. Student Shabina Begum claimed that Luton's Denbigh High School [school website] had infringed her rights sued, winning in an appeals court ruling [JURIST report] last year.

Because the school consists of mostly Muslim students, the school approved a dress code that is acceptable within the Muslim faith, allowing students to wear certain types of Muslim clothing, including headscarves. The school maintained, however, that the type of long, flowing garment that Begum chose to wear is dangerous, and might cause divisions among other students who chose not to wear traditional clothing. The Law Lords concluded that the school did not violate the UK Human Rights Act [text], since Begum had the option to wear alternative clothing choices that did not offend the Muslim faith or the school dress code. Religious dress [JURIST news archive] for Muslims, Sikhs and other minority groups has become the subject of much legislative and judicial attention in Europe in the past couple of years. AP has more.

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