A Muslim high school student will no longer be allowed to pray on school property, following a ruling by the higher administrative court of Berlin. The judgement is the latest step on a legal odyssey that began when the 16-year-old was asked to stop praying in the school hallways in 2007. He was the first student in Germany to demand the right to conduct his prayers at school.

In making the judgment the court was overturning an earlier verdict by a lower court, which had allowed the pupil to perform his midday prayers in a private room at his school in Berlin's working-class district of Wedding.

On Thursday, the higher court ruled that one pupil's rights could not be put before the good of the group as a whole. It argued that in a school with students of various religious beliefs, neutrality was required to ensure a proper learning environment.

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