France to prohibit Muslim abaya gown in state schools By Reuters

© Reuters. SUBMIT IMAGE: Newly designated French Education Minister Gabriel Attal shows up to go to the weekly cabinet conference, after a federal government reshuffle, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 21, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) – France will prohibit kids from using the abaya, the loose-fitting, full-length bathrobes used by some Muslim females, in state-run schools, its education minister stated on Sunday ahead of the back-to-school season.

France, which has actually implemented a stringent restriction on spiritual check in state schools considering that 19th century laws got rid of any standard Catholic impact from public education, has actually had a hard time to upgrade standards to handle a growing Muslim minority.

In 2004, it prohibited headscarves in schools and passed a restriction on complete face veils in public in 2010, outraging some in its 5 million-strong Muslim neighborhood.

Defending secularism is a rallying cry in France that resonates throughout the political spectrum, from left-wingers supporting the liberal worths of the Enlightenment to reactionary citizens looking for a bulwark versus the growing function of Islam in French society.

“I have decided that the abaya could no longer be worn in schools,” Education Minister Gabriel Attal stated in an interview with television channel TF1.

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


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