Wednesday, September 27, 2023
HomeWorld NewsFrench Government to Prohibit Wearing of Muslim Religious Attire in State Schools

French Government to Prohibit Wearing of Muslim Religious Attire in State Schools

The French government will ban female students from wearing Islamic garb in state schools, according to the nation’s education minister.

The clothing in question, the abaya, is a traditional garment worn by Muslim women that can cover them from head to toe.

Education Minister Gabriel Attal announced the ban in an Aug. 28 interview with French TV channel TF1, right before the school season.

Related Stories

Investigation for Manslaughter Opens After Fire at French Home for Disabled Adults Killed 11
Pakistan Arrests 129 Muslims After Mob Attacks on Churches and Homes of Minority Christians

His decision marks the latest step by the French government to curtail Islamic dress in public.

Mr. Attal was appointed education minister by French President Emmanuel Macron in July.

France Cracks Down

The move by the education ministry comes after months of debate over the wearing of the robes in French schools, where students have been banned from wearing Muslim headscarves for almost two decades.

The ministry had already introduced a circular on the issue in November 2022, which also put bandannas and long skirts in the same category if worn in an openly religious way, according to TV news station France 24.

Mr. Attal’s predecessor, Pap Ndiaye, had hesitated against cracking down on the garments, telling the Senate that “the abaya is not easy to define, legally … it would take us to the administrative tribunal, where we would lose.”

The new education minister said that “schools of the Republic are built on very strong values and principles, especially laïcité,” a term that refers to the strict separation of state and religion.

“I have decided that the abaya could no longer be worn in schools,” said Mr. Attal in the TF1 interview.

“When you walk into a classroom, you shouldn’t be able to identify the pupils’ religion just by looking at them,” he said.

“Secularism means the freedom to emancipate oneself through school,” he continued, describing the abaya as “a religious gesture, aimed at testing the resistance of the republic toward the secular sanctuary that school must constitute.”

The French newspaper Le Monde reported that Mr. Attal will give “clear rules at the national level” to school administrators just as students return to classes nationwide in France on Sept. 4.

In 2004, France prohibited students from wearing headscarves in its schools, as well as other religious symbols, including large crosses and Jewish kippahs.

Paris later banned people from wearing face veils in public in 2010 and fined those using them with a $172 penalty.

Denmark and the Netherlands have since passed similar bans.

Battle Over Robes and Headscarves

France has maintained a strict public secularism policy regarding religion in state schools for over a century, after the Third French Republic removed Catholic influence from public education.

Since the second half of the 20th century, the government has attempted to update guidelines to deal with an increasingly emboldened Muslim minority, which currently is millions strong and growing.

The battle over secularism in schools has since intensified after history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an Islamist Chechen migrant near his school in a Paris suburb in 2020.

During France’s last presidential election season in 2022, the question over Muslim religious dress became an issue of debate.

Mr. Macron’s rivals on the right, like Marine Le Pen of National Rally, campaigned on banning headscarves from the country.

Last year, French legislators backed a ban on wearing the hijab and other “conspicuous religious symbols” in sports competitions.

The bill, which was proposed by the conservative Gaullist opposition party, Les Républicains, argued that hijabs could risk the safety of athletes who wore it while playing sports.

A previous ban on the niqab—full-face veils worn by some Muslim women—was criticized by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 2018 as a violation of human rights.

The European Court of Human Rights rejected a petition by a Muslim woman in 2014 that France’s ban violated her rights.

Source link

I'm TruthUSA, the author behind TruthUSA News Hub located at With our One Story at a Time," my aim is to provide you with unbiased and comprehensive news coverage. I dive deep into the latest happenings in the US and global events, and bring you objective stories sourced from reputable sources. My goal is to keep you informed and enlightened, ensuring you have access to the truth. Stay tuned to TruthUSA News Hub to discover the reality behind the headlines and gain a well-rounded perspective on the world.
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments