Madrid: Just over half of Europeans
surveyed opposed allowing Islamic headscarves in schools but
backed the presence of crucifixes in classrooms, according to
a Spanish study obtained by a news agency Wednesday.
A total 52.6 per cent of those polled in 12 European
Union member states along were "opposed" or "totally opposed"
to the use of the garment in schools, according to the study
carried out by the research department of BBVA, Spain`s
Opposition to the veil was highest in Bulgaria with
84.3 per cent against and France with 68.7 per cent opposed
and it was lowest in Poland with only 25.6 per cent against
followed by Denmark with 28.1 percent opposed.
By contrast 54.4 percent of those polled were in
favour of classrooms displaying crucifixes.
In Spain and Italy, two nations with a strong Roman
Catholic tradition, support for the use of crucifixes in
classrooms stood at 69.9 percent and 49.3 percent
Support for the use of crucifixes in classrooms
shot up to 77 percent in Britain and 78.8 percent in
The issue of the use of Islamic headscarves has
been thrust into the spotlight once again in Europe due to
controversial moves by France and Belgium to ban Muslim full
Last week France announced it would seek a law to
ban Muslim residents and visitors from wearing a burqa or a
niqab in public, while Belgium was poised to pass a similar
ban until its ruling coalition collapsed tomorrow.
The BBVA study polled 1,500 people in 12 EU member
states -- Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Denmark, France,
Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden --
as well as in Switzerland and Turkey on a variety of issues.
The question on the use of the veil and crucifixes
in classrooms was posed only to participants in the study in
the EU member states.