Praying at school? “Anyplace, anywhere, anytime!”

By GEORG NEUREITHER

That’s how you could characterize the unsettling decision rendered by the German Federal Administrative Court. A Berlin high school student performed his ritual Islamic prayer on the school corridor, outside class hours. The school found that was not ok. The German Federal Administrative Court confirmed. So what’s unsettling?

No balancing…

All major premises formulated by the Administrative Court (which are completely in line with the Federal Constitutional Court’s case-law) consistently lead to the following statement: “With regard to the freedom of religion enshrined in Article 4.1, 4.2 of the German Constitution, the student…is entitled to do his prayers at school outside of class hours” (First Premise). Nonetheless, the appeal was not successful because “this entitlement is subject to limitations necessary for preserving school peace” (Second Premise). The result: “The restrictions to the fundamental right pursue an aim that is to be valued higher than the constraints on the fundamental right…preserving school peace takes precedence over exercising one’s freedom of religion.”

In the realm of fundamental rights, it is actually quite common that although a specific conduct is generally covered by a basic right, an individual claim to that conduct might not be granted because the legal interests protected through the restrictions to the basic right prevail. Quite common? For the past 50 years, didn’t interpreting the constitution require “practical concordance”, that is to arrange the legal interests protected by the Constitution in such a way as to avoid realizing one interest at the expense of another? So as to materialize all of them? Even more: to give optimal effect to each legal interest? In this spirit, the Federal Administrative Court subscribed to the “principle of careful balance” in its major premise, but then lost sight of it ...

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Nena & Kim Wilde - Irgendwie Irgendwo Irgendwann - Anyplace Anywhere Anytime.flv

Nena & Kim Wilde - Irgendwie Irgendwo Irgendwann - Anyplace Anywhere Anytime I'm Sturz durch Raum und Zeit Richtung Unendlichkeit Fliegen Motten in das Licht Genau wie du und ich Wrap your fingers 'round my neck You don't speak my dialect But our images reflect Drawn together by the flame We are just the same Embrace the wind and fall into Another time and space Gib mir die Hand ich bau dir ein Schloss aus Sand Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann. If we belong to each other, we belong Anyplace anywhere anytime Im Sturz durch Zeit und Raum Erwacht aus einem Traum Nur ein kurzer Augenblick Dann kehrt die Nacht zurück Bits and pieces from your storm Rain upon me as they form Melt into my skin and I feel warm Sweep upon me like a wave We are young and brave Embrace the wind and float into Another time and space Gib mir die Hand ich bau dir ein Schloss aus Sand Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann. If we belong to each other, we belong Anyplace anywhere anytime (Geflüster) If we belong to each other, we belong Anyplace anywhere anytime I'm going to any world you're coming from Anyplace anywhere anytime Gib mir die Hand ich bau dir ein Schloss aus Sand Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann. I'm going to any world you're coming from Anyplace anywhere anytime



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