NON-Muslim English girls will be ordered to wear headscarves at a new Islamic school. Madani High School in Leicester will take ten per cent of its pupils from other faiths — but insists all must cover their heads.
Headteachers ruled the hijab scarf is part of the uniform.
Assistant principal Zainab Elgaziari said the demand was not a problem despite the row over Muslim women’s veils.
He said: “I can’t see why if a student wears a headscarf it should be an issue. It’s the same as a shirt or tie — it’s just part of our uniform.”
Leicester City Council said it did not believe the scarves would deter non-Muslim parents from sending children to the school, which opens next September.
Education spokesman Hussein Suleman, who is also a member of the school’s temporary governing body, said: “I hope discretion will be used if there are any disagreements.”
Suleman Nagdi, of the Federation of Muslim Organisations, said: “All Islamic schools have certain criteria for uniform. I can’t see anything different about theirs.”
Shadow education secretary David Willetts said the move would harm hopes of integrating communities and drive non-Muslims away.
He added: “We should expect schools with a Muslim majority to make special arrangements for non-Muslims — the majority should not oppress the minority.”
The Commission for Racial Equality urged the school to consider all pupils when putting together a uniform policy.