Tracking cookies

To make our website even easier and more personal, we use cookies (and similar techniques). With these cookies we and third parties can collect information about you and monitor your internet behavior within (and possibly also outside) our website. If you agree with this, we will place these tracking cookies.

Yes, I give permissionNo thanks
Logo

France24: French schools send dozens of girls home for refusing to take off abayas

5-9-2023 |

Defying a ban on the Muslim dress, nearly 300 girls showed up Monday morning wearing an abaya, a government minister Gabriel Attal told the BFM broadcaster.

Most agreed to change out of the dress, but 67 refused and were sent home, he said.

The government announced last month it was banning the abaya in schools, saying it broke the rules on secularism in education that have already seen Muslim headscarves banned on the grounds they constitute a display of religious affiliation.

The move gladdened the political right but the hard-left argued it represented an affront to civil liberties.

Attal said the girls refused entry were given a letter addressed to their families saying that "secularism is not a constraint, it is a liberty".

If they showed up at school again wearing the dress there would be a "new dialogue", the minister said.

Late Monday, President Emmanuel Macron defended the controversial measure, saying there was a "minority" in France who "hijack a religion and challenge the republic and secularism", leading to the "worst consequences" such as the murder three years ago of teacher Samuel Paty for showing Mohamed caricatures during a civics education class.

"We cannot act as if the terrorist attack, the murder of Samuel Paty, had not happened," Macron said in an interview with YouTube channel HugoDecrypte.

An association representing Muslims has filed a motion with the State Council, France's highest court for complaints against state authorities, for an injunction against the ban on the abaya and the qamis, its equivalent dress for men.

Source: France24