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The abaya, worn by Muslim women, is banned in French schools

The abaya, worn by Muslim women, is banned in French schools

Aug 27, 2023 – 11:08 p.m

France’s Minister of Education, Gabriel Attal, announced on TF1 that the abaya, a typical women’s garment in the Islamic religion, would be banned from being worn in schools. Attal explained the decision by saying that the long, loose-fitting cloak violated French education laws, and stressed that all school principals were informed of the new rule before the start of the school year, Attal wrote. France24.

In France, a law was passed in March 2004 banning the wearing of clothing in schools that students use to represent their religious affiliation, such as the Islamic headscarf for women or the Jewish kippah. Until now, the abaya was not on the banned list, and the current announcement was also preceded by a months-long debate. The controversy began to rage after a Chechen man beheaded the teacher of history and geography, Samuel Patti, in October 2020, who showed his students a satirical cartoon about the Prophet Muhammad and talked about the Charlie Hebdo issue and freedom of opinion.

According to the Council of the French Muslim Faith (CFCM), the garments are not in themselves “religious symbols”.

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