About five thousand people have protested in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, against a government decision to ban religious symbols including Muslim headscarves in public schools.
Many demonstrators came from all over the country. About 90 percent of Kosovo’s population are Muslims, but most have western values. The former Serbian province adopted a secular Constitution after declaring independence two years ago.
The protesters who gathered outside the Ministry of Education complained of discrimination.
“I call upon the government to dismiss this law,” said protester Lavdije Recica. “They should allow girls wearing headscarves to go to school because we have rights too.”
The controversy sprung to life in Kosovo after one girl in particular complained of being denied entry to school for refusing to abandon her headscarf.
Some observers believe the local authorities are anxious not to destabilise relations between the Muslim majority and Catholic minority.