France to ban wearing abaya dress in schools: Minister

France to ban wearing abaya dress in schools: Minister

TEHRAN, Aug. 28 (MNA) – France will ban children from wearing the abaya – the loose-fitting, full-length robe worn by some Muslim women – in state-run schools, the country’s education minister has said ahead of the back-to-school season.

"It will no longer be possible to wear an abaya at school," Gabriel Attal told France's TF1 television on Sunday.

Attal said he would give "clear rules at the national level" to school heads ahead of the return to classes nationwide from September 4.

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

"You enter a classroom, you must not be able to identify the religion of the students by looking at them," he said.

The ban had been spearheaded by the right and far-right political elite, despite an argument by the left asserting that it would encroach on individuals' religious freedoms and civil liberties.

Clementine Autain of the left-wing opposition France Unbowed party denounced what she described as the "policing of clothing."

Attal's announcement was "unconstitutional" and against the founding principles of France's secular values, and a sign of the government's "obsessive rejection of Muslims," she argued.

The French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM), a national body encompassing many Muslim associations, has also said items of clothing alone were not "a religious sign."

Under France’s laws on laïcité (secularism), it is already forbidden to wear the Islamic headscarf in government buildings, including schools.


Source: Mehr News